Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic is proud to introduce our spotlight athlete for August 2016…Marco Munoz! An incoming junior at J.W. Nixon High School, Marco makes it a priority to balance his academic and extracurricular schedule as well as he can. Taught early on the importance of discipline and prioritizing responsibilities, it is his accomplishments in various sports and extracurricular activities that make him a resilient athlete who is on his way to success.
Marco was first introduced to the game of football in fifth grade. As an elementary school student, he began to take notice of his older brother’s passion and dedication to football. Intrigued, he decided he also wanted to give football a try. Marco started out in pop warner football with The Hornets as a sixth grader and eventually joined the football team at Lamar Middle School in seventh grade. He learned to play defensive tackle and defensive end positions, did exceedingly well, and began practicing with his upperclassmen teammates.
Since then, Marco has remained unstoppable in sports. After discovering he had a knack for football, he continued with the sport, transitioning into high school football with the J.W. Nixon Mustang Football Team. Of his journey into high school football, he says,
“From the very beginning, I was taught to always be appreciative of what I have but never be satisfied. So, I fought and clawed my way through the program to distinguish myself from the other athletes, while simultaneously gaining my teammates trust as a reliable leader.”
His freshman year, he continued playing defensive tackle and defensive end. By his sophomore year, Marco played center and was promoted to join the varsity team, making him a three-year letterman. During his sophomore year, Marco helped his team have a successful season, beating Martin High School at the famous annual Martin vs. Nixon game. The team also made the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
Marco took his promotion to the varsity team with great stride and worked diligently to get better at his game. His hard work had paid off! He ended the season ranked as the second best athlete in the football program. His goal for the upcoming school year; to be ranked first! To help meet his goal, Marco is using his summer break wisely. Along with attending his required summer football workouts with his fellow teammates, he goes that extra mile by getting in some additional workouts with two other offensive linemen.
Our featured athlete also divides his time between two other sports. He is also passionate about powerlifting and track. He is currently ranked as one of the top five powerlifters at Nixon. His most recent accomplishment in track includes competing in the Iron Man 400-meter relay in Eagle Pass, Texas. To his credit, he placed first.
Outside of dominating on the football field, attending track meets, and practicing for powerlifting, Marco is also a dedicated student. He is ranked in the top 5% of his class, enrolled in Gifted & Talented and Pre Advanced Placement courses, and part of the National Honor Society.
Our athlete is also greatly interested in the game of chess. He credits his friend, Danny Sanchez, for teaching him this skill game when he was a middle schooler. His growth as a chess player has reflected in his performance at competitions. Marco placed in the top ten at the regional chess tournaments and helped lead the Nixon Chess Team to a fourth place seat. Subsequently, they qualified for the state competition. Now the president of the chess team, he is working meticulously to perfect his game.
This well-rounded athlete doesn’t stop there. He has also competed with Nixon’s Mock Trial Team as a lawyer, the Nixon Debate Team, and is actively involved in various one-act plays with the Nixon Drama Club.
Marco’s exceptional scores on the PSATs has gained the attention of many colleges including UT at Austin, Texas A & M at College Station, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Harvard. He has since received various letters from colleges asking him to attend their summer seminars and visit their campuses to experience it up close. One particular letter caught his attention more than the others: a handwritten letter from an alumni neurosurgeon who had attended Harvard. The letter explained that Marco had been chosen to represent Nixon High School and the state of Texas at the National Medical Assembly that would be held at Harvard University. Marco was ecstatic to have received this letter. Immediately, he replied that he would be attending. This three-day trip was an eye-opening and life changing experience.
Yet another invitation was later sent to Marco inviting him once more to Harvard University. This time, it was for an eight-day trip where he got to speak to students studying neuroscience. Of this trip, he says,
“Harvard was an amazing experience. It is full of diversity and I instantly fell in love with that because I can learn from everyone.”
He plans on spending the rest of his high school career more focused than ever to reach his ultimate goal of getting into his dream school: Harvard.
With the new academic & athletic school year starting on August 22, 2016, Marco is ready to face it head-on. He is inspired to continually do his best by his parents, who taught him the importance of prioritizing and balance. Because of this important lesson, Marco is able to handle his academics and extra-curricular involvements so well. Our athlete would also like to acknowledge his extensive support system including his football coaches, Tommy Ramirez, Antonio Villalon, and Enrique Waldo. He is also thankful for his mentor, Luis Cornejo, and two of his friends, Francisco Torrecilla and Josue Tobias who all motivate him to be a better athlete.
In June, an unexpected tragedy occurred and affected the lives of many Nixon High School students, including Marco’s. Incoming senior Jose Molina, unexpectedly drowned at Lake Casa Blanca. “Mo,” as he was lovingly called by his friends, was highly esteemed by his teachers and classmates. He was also one of the Nixon High School football team’s biggest supporters. This upcoming season, the players plan on playing harder than ever in honor of Mo. They know he is looking down and still supporting them from up above.
When asked what his favorite quote is, Marco poignantly said,
“It would have to be ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13’ This was my friend Mo’s favorite quote. I really think it captured his personality perfectly. It is now my favorite quote because it embodies my drive and my determination to do all things with great strength, all while keeping his memory close to my heart.”
As we wrap up our interview with Marco, his charisma evident even through the phone, we ask him for his final remarks on what makes him happy and keeps him grounded. He happily said,
“I hope to continue striving to make both my parents and community proud. Nixon is my family. I bleed green and gold. I live and do what I do for the glory of Nixon. My ultimate goal is to positively represent Nixon High School and prove that good, successful people can come from Nixon.”
LSMC congratulates this future neurosurgeon and is proud to recognize Marco Munoz as August’s Spotlight Athlete!