Meet the Football Falcon seniors … Victor Gutierrez

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victor gutierrezAt 6’, 230 lbs., Victor Gutierrez looks the part of the offensive lineman (guard) he’s been since he first put on pads as a freshman Football Falcon. Don’t let his physicality fool you: Victor has a big heart and a subtle sense of humor (about himself).

“Why did you go out for football?” I asked. He remembers, amusedly, “I was huge … the biggest kid in my 8th grade (D.A.M.S.) until Alex Yazdi came along. I’d figured out that baseball and soccer weren’t for me. The 15-0 State Championship season got my attention, so I decided to give football a try. I liked it right away.”

Victor continued, “Over the last three years, being a Falcon has given me an identity I might not have had otherwise. Playing football at Cactus Shadows means something … kind of sets you apart from all the other guys. That’s important to me.”

The oldest child of Creekers Victor and Michelle Gutierrez, Victor was born Feb. 5, 1993 in San Diego. Younger sister Vanessa, 10, plays soccer and softball at Lone Mountain Elementary School. The Gutierrez family moved to The Valley when Victor was three. He entered CCUSD as a D.A.M.S. 6th grader.

His favorite football memories to date? “Our unbeaten regular season last year – and pancaking a guy in the Flagstaff game three weeks ago. He got up and said to me, “Nice hit.”

How does he see the Falcons after the Saguaro embarrassment last Friday night? “We’re still a little beat up; but now I think we understand that if we don’t play hard, we’re not going to get anywhere. I’m not worried: we’ll get it straight. I want a State Championship ring!”

And after graduation? “U of A is my first choice, probably majoring in physiology as a prelude to a career in physical therapy. Playing football at the next level is not a goal or dream of mine.”

His hobbies or interests? Victor laughs, “I love socializing … being around people. Unless Coach D. is doing the talking, I can’t be quiet for more than five minutes.”

Near the end of our interview, I coaxed out of Victor that for almost a year now, he’s participated in “Best Buddies,” Cactus Shadows’ support program for “special needs” students. I could see that he has a big – and gentle – spirit.

Victor, good luck the rest of this season. And keep smilin’ about yourself. The ability to laugh about “Victor” will serve you – and those close to you – for the rest of your life. I’m glad that we finally met. You are a quietly engaging young man!