Pendleton High School’s new head girls soccer coach Murillo Varela poses for a photo Thursday, July 14, 2022, on the Buckaroos’ home field in Pendleton. He coached last year as an assistant for the boys team.

PENDLETON — When Murillo Varela was a young boy growing up in Brazil, he and his friends would take a woman’s nylon stocking, fill it full of rags, shape it and use it as a soccer ball.

“It was a pretty decent way to play,” Varela said. “We were a family of eight kids — four boys and four girls. The economical situation in Brazil was extreme hardship and those things cost money. At that time there was no money to buy a proper soccer ball.”

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Sports writer

Annie Fowler is a graduate of Southern Oregon University and has work in the newspaper business for 35-plus years. She has covered everything from baseball to wrestling.

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