The Goal Is in Sight
From the first time our November Spotlight Athlete played soccer, she has been chasing down the dream that all competitors chase, a championship!! Alina Gamboa has displayed a tremendous tenacity to achieve her goal. That is why Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic has chosen her as the November 2017 Athlete Spotlight honoree.
While her first interests were in dance and gymnastics, it was at her mother’s urging that she joined the soccer world. At age 6, she was introduced to the Laredo Heat Soccer club and she has been kicking that round ball ever since. Now a senior at Alexander High School, Alina Gamboa is working on completing her last season and winning that elusive District Championship.
Ms. Gamboa is no stranger to hard work, long practice hours, and the constant demand for excellence.
“I’ve been playing club and school soccer for a long time. It has required a lot of dedication, time, and effort.”
“Two a day and sometimes three a day practice sessions were no walk in the park.”
It’s evident that Alina Gamboa has that passion for the sport. When asked when that spark that ignited her love for the sport kicked in, she points to her freshman year
It was at the beginning of her high school career that Laredo Sports Medicine’s Spotlight honoree became a student of the sport. Her Laredo Heat Soccer coach, Chente Ruiz, mentored and motivated her to study soccer and all its intricacies. Coach Ruiz instilled in Alina the need for practice and constant pursuit of excellence and improvement. This translated into an exceptional freshman year on the junior varsity team at Alexander High School. Her coaches recognized her unique talent and quickly began to prepare her for her sophomore year on the varsity squad. Alina is quick to point out,
” I am a left foot dominant player. That made me an asset to the team immediately. The fact that I was proficient at that position on the left allowed me to contribute quickly to a squad full of juniors and seniors.”
The team flourished early on in that second season. Yet, the team did not finish as strong as they would have liked, missing the playoffs that year.
Ms. Gamboa’s junior year was a tough season. In and out of the line-up with nagging knee injuries. She made the best of her limited time in action.
“With all the pounding that would go to my legs and lack of attention I would give my body; I was bound to get injured sooner or later. When I did, LSMC was my “go-to.”
“The great folks at LSMC were able to get me back in the game.”
The team did not do as well that year. Again, they fell short of the playoffs.
It’s her senior year now and Alina knows that time is running short on the goal. Recovered and ready for the season, Ms. Gamboa has begun to prepare for the last year as a Bulldog. She feels that she is back faster, stronger, and more intelligent when it comes to taking care of her body. Alina will be one of only three seniors on the team. She relishes the role of captain and leader. Lifting up her team mates and encouraging the younger players will be the focus of her leadership message. The goal is to win district, make the playoffs, and continue deep into the post season. Standing in the way will be powerhouse United South. You hear the excitement in Alina’s voice when she says,
“I am looking forward to the challenge this year.”
You can tell that she is driven to excel. She has that goal of a championship season in her sights.
Beyond the soccer field, Ms. Gamboa is looking ahead to her future collegiate plans. She wants to attend North Texas University in Denton to study Emergency Management. While she hopes to continue her soccer playing, she has her sights on her academic goals. Alina would like to join FEMA or another agency that plays a role in disaster preparation and recovery.
“I want to be a first responder after a natural disaster. I’d like to be part of saving lives and helping people”
, says Ms. Gamboa as she reflects on why she would want to be in that field.
Alina certainly has her goal in sight, literally and figuratively. Driven from a young age, committed to excellence in a sport she loves, and in pursuit of a dream season, Alina is a model athlete and someone to admire. All of us at Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic are proud to recognize her as our November Spotlight Athlete. Congratulations, Alina Gamboa, on this well-deserved honor! LSMC wishes you all the best!
Laredo Sports Medicine Clinic is South Texas’ premier sports medicine and orthopedic care provider, located in Laredo, Texas. Schedule your next appointment and let us get you back in the game.