ORLANDO, FLA – Evans Head Boys Soccer Coach Ray Bornacelli wants his players to give their all every match. He doesn’t have to send that message to three of his players. Brothers Roldy, Older and Gelder Geneus bring that approach every time they step on the pitch.
“They fight where they’re told and they win where they fight and these guys are soldiers,” Bornacelli said. “In the end they’ll do whatever it takes to win a match.”
“You have to be like a solider to play,” Older said. “You can’t give up, you just got to keep on doing your thing.”
The Geneus brothers have done their thing all season. Juniors Roldy and Older are considered two of the best players in Central Florida while freshman Gelder has the potential to be even better.
“I like winning,” Roldy said. “It’s all about winning. When I’m not winning I get frustrated.”
After a 2-5-1 start, it was easy for frustration to set it. The Geneus brothers refused to let that happen. Soccer isn’t just a game to them, it’s an escape.
“I’m playing having the best time for today but when it’s time to go home I’m going to think about something different,” said Gelder.
Last spring, the Geneus trio didn’t have a home to go to following a fire at the Hibiscus Place Apartments in Orlando.
“I was inside sleeping and I heard someone call my name and when I woke up the fire was already in the living room and I have to find my way out of the house,” Older said. “Everything was inside burning. We didn’t have nothing. No passport or social security. We couldn’t go inside in take anything because everything got burned.”
The Geneus family was unable to salvage anything. Important documents, clothing and all soccer equipment was destroyed.
“To just see everything fall down and we have to restart again was hard,” Roldy said, “but again we have to be patient.
Patience is something not lost on this family. Eight years ago they learned to be patient when their native country Haiti was decimated by the earthquake. The Geneuses were not affected but they say the destruction.
“We could walk a mile and see people dying,” Older said. “We could see people crying.”
Three years later the brothers began their life in America, but the images of their home country still motivate them to push forward.
“I think many times there’s people that’s been through worse, and they keep their heads up and moving,” Roldy said.
The brothers have done just that. Through natural disasters and house fires, they’ve mustered the strength to move forward.
“In soccer you got to be patient and sure,” Roldy said. “You got to believe in yourself and so is life.”
Pride and perseverance; two things constantly preached in Haitian culture. Roldy, Older and Gelder Geneus carry those traits with them on the pitch and in life.
“Don’t ever let yourself down,” Gelder said. “Don’t quit. Just know a better day is going to come.”