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Freshman forward’s persistence pays off

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They always say, “if you believe, you can achieve.” For the reigning Student Athlete of the Month, these words resonated in his ear.Rigo Gomez was raised in Long Beach, Calif. and now resides in Lodi. He was motivated by his father and grandfather at the age of 6 to start playing soccer. Thirteen years later, he finds himself starring on the Cosumnes River College men’s soccer team. An accomplishment he is most definitely proud of.

“It means a lot to me, even though I could do more for the team but I know I’m working hard and trying my best,” Gomez said. “I appreciate whomever selected me athlete of the month because my friends and family were really happy for achieving an award.”

That’s not the only accomplishment Rigo has achieved so far this season, he also leads the team in goals scored with six.

“My teammates have trust in me to finish every play we start and put every ball in back of that net,” he said. “All my accomplishments I have done, my goals, my assists, are for the team to win.”

Despite all the single accomplishments, Gomez isn’t one to put himself first over the team. He is the ultimate team player and knows that if it wasn’t for his teammates, all those goals wouldn’t be possible.

“I don’t score alone, we score together,” he said.

It wasn’t always this way for Rigo. Growing up, life was difficult. It was hard for him to get to school everyday. His parents both worked and they hardly had any time for him, his brothers and his sisters, but one thing he was able to do was play soccer.

“I had to wait until 7 p.m. until one of my parents could pick me up,” Gomez said. “It sucked but it was worth it for soccer.”

Soccer was and still is his passion.

He played on his dad’s friend’s soccer club for three years and then went on to play for Lodi Middle School. He wasn’t able to play his freshman year of high school because of his difficult schedule and not being able to find rides to and from practices and games. But he never gave up on his dream.

“I was very disappointed because the coach wanted me to play,” he said.

The rest of his high school years he played on the varsity team and kept in shape by competing in track and field for his school in the off season.

“It helped me gain more speed and endurance and got me in shape,” he said.

All of Rigo’s hard work has led him to the Hawks, where he once thought he wasn’t even going to make the team.

“At first I didn’t think I would make it because there were so many other guys trying out,” Gomez said. “But my hard work and trying put me on the squad and I am proud to be a CRC Hawk.”

CRC isn’t all that’s left for Rigo. He has his eyes set on bigger goals and more accomplishments.

“My hard work playing soccer all my life and practicing to become better has rewarded my life,” he said. “Right now focusing in school, and playing hard in soccer is my way to a four-year college.”

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Freshman forward’s persistence pays off