MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Senior defensive tackle Abraham Mendez considers the Midland Lee football program more than a team. He considers them his home.
For Abraham, growing up in El Paso with his mom and his 3 siblings, wasn't always easy. They spent 2 years living in a shelter and experienced many hardships, including trouble with the law.
"We had to leave. We had to get out of there because me and my brothers were doing bad. The cops raided our house and they found a lot of things that we had stolen from a house. We just had to get out of there. My mom knew that if we stayed in there it would just get worse with all the bad influence we had, all the friends we had. So, we came over here to Midland," Abraham Mendez said.
The Mendez family piled in to a 24-foot RV and settled down in the Basin. For Abraham, the hard times would get harder. While he attended Lee Freshman High School his journey to and from school was unimaginable.
"I had to walk from Lee Freshman all the way to 3424 S. County Road. It was about a good 6, 7 miles," Mendez said.
To some this adversity could be discouraging, but for Abraham he used it as motivation.
"If you want something you have to go after it. You can't shy away from it and I really wanted to be at Lee so if it took for me to walk from Lee High School to my house, I was going to do it," Mendez said.
The Mendez family later moved back to El Paso, but Abraham remained in the Tall City to stay with his Rebel family.
"If it wasn't for this, I wouldn't be here right now. I would be in jail, on the streets, or probably even dead back in El Paso," Mendez said.
Growing up between these 2 towns was never easy, but Abraham found a home in Lee and developed a family all throughout Rebel football.
"It's made me who I am. Without speed weights, without mats, all the offseason stuff we did as a team. Without that, I don't think I would be the person I am right now. We've been through a lot of things. I've overcome a lot with the team as well. It's shaped who I am today", said Mendez.
The Rebels look to continue their season this Saturday as they take on Trinity at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene, Saturday at 4 p.m.