Football spotlight: Lake Worth senior shows toughness in return from injury

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Spotlight on Luis Gutierrez, Lake Worth OL/LB

His story: Gutierrez is a 6-foot-2, 240-pound senior who starts on both sides of the ball for Lake Worth (3-1). He’s a three-year varsity letterman, having played offensive line and some defensive line as a sophomore. Last season, as a junior, he earned first-team 6-3A all-district honors as an inside linebacker, and was named to the all-district second team on offense as a right tackle. He was the Bullfrogs’ leading tackler a year ago. During the summer, Gutierrez injured his knee playing 7-on-7, putting his senior season in jeopardy. Despite the pain, he returned in time for the Bullfrogs’ first game and has started to return to his old self. On Friday night in a 48-21 win over Hillsboro, Gutierrez accounted for three sacks, four tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

His goal: Gutierrez had originally wanted to break a school record for tackles this season, but feels his knee injury will hamper that. From a team perspective, he’d like to see the Bullfrogs get beyond the second round of the playoffs.

He said: “I prefer defense. I like hitting people and making tackles. It’s difficult sometimes [to play both ways] but I have to do whatever it takes to help win the game. I’m not 100 percent, but I don’t want to miss any games. I’ve never missed any games and I don’t want to miss any games my senior year. At the beginning of the game the knee does bother me but when I get into the game I forget about it and play football. I just read and react and go find the ball.”

Coach Tal Sanders said: “He’s just a tough kid. He’s a nitty-gritty, get-after-it kind of player. He’s got great feet. He can attack a defensive tackle so quickly it’s amazing. He’s downhill and hard-nosed. He will go and light you up; he can really hit. He’s a quiet leader. He’s a guy that works his butt off and does anything you ask him to do. He’s not real vocal, but when he steps on the field and starts hitting people, you’re going to notice. We were scared to death because he hurt his knee playing 7-on-7 this season. We weren’t even sure he was going to get to play. He’s wearing a brace and not moving quite like he was, but he’s getting back to where he was.”

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