High school football is king in Texas, but for Tex McCullough, the other football captured his attention.
“My dad was a football coach and always wanted me to play football,” McCullough said. “But I used to have seizures when I was younger, so I couldn’t play any contact sports. So I started playing soccer.”
The seizures eventually stopped as he grew older, but his passion for soccer didn’t fade away.
And as one of seven freshmen on the Michigan men’s soccer team, McCullough has been an impact player in his limited time on the field.
Playing behind sophomore standout and United States National Team athlete Peri Marosevic has given McCullough, a forward, the opportunity to learn before being pushed into a full-time starting role.
“I’m kind of training for when he leaves,” McCullough said. “Since our team is mostly dominated by sophomores and juniors who are starters and play a lot, the freshmen are learning and getting experience.”
When Marosevic received a red card against Wisconsin on Sept. 23, the coaches gave the freshman the opportunity to start three days later.
In the eighth minute against Oakland, McCullough scored his first goal as a Wolverine. It turned out to be the game-winner in Michigan’s 2-0 victory.
“I haven’t gotten to score in awhile,” McCullough said. “I loved it. I was so glad to finally be able to contribute to this team.”
Michigan has suffered tough losses recently, including a disappointing shutout to No. 3 Notre Dame. But the 21st-ranked Wolverines are optimistic they can finish strong in the final six games before the Big Ten Tournament in early November.
McCullough knew the team would be very competitive this year, which is one of the reasons he chose to come to Michigan.
“It’s not like there are lots of strong Division I soccer schools down south,” McCullough said. “There’s only one sport down there, anyway. I went far away from home so I could be a part of a good program.”
Fortunately for the Wolverines, this Southerner took a chance at a sport that was unusual in his native state.
Now he looks to help his new team conquer the Midwest and the Big Ten.