Some people were just born to succeed in athletics.
One of those people is Desert Ridge two-sport star Stephan Gomez. The now junior was a starter for both the football team and the baseball team as a sophomore last season within Jaguar Athletics. At 5-8, 160 pounds, he may not be the most physically imposing figure on the playing field, but you would never know that based on the impact he plays over the course of a game.
“It’s not very often you see a Division I kid start as a sophomore in two different sports,” said Desert Ridge head coach Jeremy Hathcock. “Stephan is just one of those guys. He’s a natural talent. He was so good as a Pop Warner kid and the thing is, some people peak, he doesn’t. He’s just a competitor and you can rely on him all day long.”
“I try to do my best at everything I do and work hard,” Gomez said.
Gomez is especially unique in what he does for his football team. His presence is felt on offense, defense, kick-off’s and punts. Coach Hathcock described him as the equivalent of a “five-tool” baseball player. Gomez just loves the opportunity to be on the field as often as he is.
“It’s fun,” explained Gomez about his many roles on the field. “There’s a couple things I need to work on and I will work on it. I see myself as a safety. I like to get big hits, I like to come down on the football.”
“We use him as an edge blocker, we use him catching punts, we use him at safety, he’s actually our tailback in some sets,” mentioned Hathcock. “He’s one of those kids where you literally only have to tell him one time and he will go study it.”
Coach Hathcock went on to explain that the leadership Gomez brings despite not being a senior puts him at a level that only one other player within his program has ever been able to reach.
“I’ve had two junior leaders,” stated Hathcock. “Jordan Bacera who’s graduating from Harvard this year and Stephan Gomez. That’s pretty good company.”
“He just wants me to keep my head up,” Gomez said of Hathcock. “And hope that it rubs off on everyone else.”
There may be no defined position that someone of the mold of Gomez fits but Coach Hathcock knows that at the end of the day, he has a football player and knows he can succeed anywhere when given the opportunity.
“He may not be the fastest, he’s definitely not the biggest, but his heart is bigger than his speed, his heart is bigger than everything,” Coach stated. “He’ll will himself and put himself in the right position. We’re glad to have him.”
Desert Ridge looks to make it 3-1 on the season as they host Boulder Creek on Friday.