Editor’s note: The Star is counting down the top football players in Southern Arizona in the weeks leading up to the season.
Name: Harvey Gonzalez
The rundown: Gonzalez is a 6-foot-3-inch, 260-pound senior offensive lineman at Sunnyside.
Who he is: When Gonzalez lines up against a player from an opposing team, he tells himself that’s the guy he has to beat. One on one.
“That’s just my mentality,” Gonzalez said. “Just hit them all and break them.”
Gonzalez would like to improve on his footwork and being more aggressive in his final season of high school football. He knows he needs to stay low and finish blocks.
The senior would also like to pass on the torch to the younger players to keep up the tradition of Sunnyside football. Gonzalez said he’s been working on his relationships within the team over the summer because he understands how important of a role chemistry can play with the team. If someone needs a ride, he offers a ride. If someone needs a place to stay, he invites them for dinner.
“That’s what I’ve been doing all summer, just spending time with all of them, like my little brother and all of his friends, making them my friends,” Gonzalez said. “Now, it’s to the point where I look at them, I give them a look and they know it’s time to go. In previous years, I really didn’t have that type of touch with anybody else. This team is special this year.”
Proof he’s good: Gonzalez is still waiting on a collegiate offer, and has interest in both the UA and ASU.
Sunnyside coach Glenn Posey said the offensive line struggled at times last season, and Gonzalez also had his own struggles, but the senior has been putting in the work over the offseason to be the best he can be this year.
“He’s in much better shape now. He’s probably 50 to 60 pounds stronger per lift,” Posey said. “All that work that he did to prepare his body has just made him that much more confident and better suited to do his job.”
He said it: “He’s probably our most experienced football player — been there, done it, seen it, went through it. So, he’s been a valuable resource for our kids, but at the same time, he’s so starving to have a good season. He’s led the way in the weight room and the work ethic and has done a good job of challenging his teammates and holding everyone accountable. He’s been a valuable asset for me, as a head football coach. I’ve been leaning on him and we’ve had our back-and-forths and he’s been great.” – Posey