Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic is proud to announce our spotlight athlete for December 2015…Homer Maldonado! Homer’s athletic career is an inspirational story of rising to the top while staying humble. Growing up in a family of athletes, Homer discovered his passion for football at a young age. Though he was a boy small in stature, Homer knew that his big heart and love of the game would help him reach his goals of becoming a successful athlete.
The game of football is sacred in Texas, especially in Homer’s hometown of Bruni, Texas. Our featured athlete’s story begins when he was just nine years old. Homer discovered Pop Warner Football and after joining the team, he fell in love with the sport. Over the years, Homer would continue playing football for the Bruni Middle School football team. As the Quarterback for the team, Homer realized that the game of football was teaching him life lessons along the way. Still, Homer recognized the fact that he had to work harder than other athletes since he was the player with the smallest physique. Through his discipline, Homer was able to help his middle school team make history by becoming the first undefeated District Champions.
As an incoming freshman at Bruni High School, Homer found that he was once again one of the smallest players on the team. This did not stop him from giving 150% on the football field. In Homer’s own words, he states,
“I was the Quarterback of the practice squad and got attacked by the starting defense on a daily basis. Although I would get thrown around like a rag doll, I believe this made me a lot tougher that I would have been if I were on a freshman or junior varsity team.”
During his sophomore year, Homer began working for a starting spot on defense. Not letting his size worry him, Homer tackled with everything he had. Throughout the season, his strength and capability increased and it was showing on the field. At the end of the season, Homer was awarded with a spot on the All-District team.
Homer continued on to his junior year where he was now the quarterback for the Bruni Badgers football team. Things seemed to be looking up for Homer; the small kid now had his bigger opponents on their feet as he helped his team become the first from Webb County to play in the state quarterfinal game. Then, adversity tested Homer’s will.
Also an active member of the track team, our spotlight athlete had his heart set on qualifying for state during his junior year. Things didn’t go as planned, though. While attempting to do a long jump, Homer describes hearing “a loud pop.” After going to the doctor, it was determined that Homer had suffered an avulsion fracture to his hip. As he reflects on his 8 – 10 weeks without playing sports, Homer says,
“This injury took a lot out of me. Although it was the hardest thing in my life, I ran and lifted weights like I never had before. After I had made a full recovery, I was faster and stronger than ever.”
This academic school year, Homer is making the most out of his senior year, both on and off the field. Maintaining a GPA of 102, he is just as unstoppable when it comes to hitting the books. He is a member of the Bruni High School Senior Class where he serves as Vice President. In addition, he has also been an Honor Roll student for the past three consecutive years. Homer also actively volunteers his extra time by doing community service at places such as the Bruni Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Jim Hogg County 4-H, and the Bruni Community Center Children and Elderly Program.
On the field, Homer continues his last year in high school as the Team Captain and Quarterback. Though he is also active in track, basketball and baseball, it is his accomplishments as a football player that have helped shape the little kid with a big heart who became a disciplined and focused young man.
His most recent achievements include being recognized as KGNS’ Player of the Week in September and helping lead the Bruni Badgers to their most recent win to date against Louise from Houston. Homer has remarkable stats consisting of running for over 1500 yards to go along with almost 1000 passing and 34 total touchdowns.
His achievements in academics and sports do not come without the constant support of his family. He is especially thankful for the encouragement of his older cousin, Robert Muñoz. Though Robert lives in San Antonio, he always finds a way to be one of the fans in the stands at all of Homer’s games. Robert also writes Homer inspirational letters, mailing them weekly so that Homer can read something positive right before a game. Homer recognizes that he couldn’t have made it this far without their endless encouragement to keep his eyes on the ultimate goal to rise above the rest.
Homer’s expected graduation date is May of 2016. After graduating, Homer plans on attending the University of Texas at San Antonio to study dentistry. He is also currently in the recruitment process to play football for UTSA.
As Homer reflects on the adversity he faced, he is thankful for the tough times he went through because they have made him who he is today. Homer states,
“It has not been easy at all, but all the hard work has paid off. I have worked as hard as possible to get to where I’m at, and I will end my high school athletic career with no regrets. No matter how hard I’ve worked, all the glory still goes to God.”
Inspired by his favorite line from one of his cousin’s letters, Homer carries Robert’s wise advice with him everywhere he goes,
“If you don’t live to see tomorrow, did you give your best today?”
It is evident that Homer gives nothing but his best.
We are thrilled to see where Homer’s diligence takes him. We wish him the best of luck this school year and in all his future endeavors!
LSMC congratulates and is proud to recognize Homer Maldonado as December’s Spotlight Athlete!