John Gomez Highschool Football

I first played tackle football in 10th grade.   I went out for my High School’s Junior Varsity team as a safety.   I remember the first time I hit someone in a drill.   In those days, they taught hitting facemask to facemask.   The feeling was violent, scary and shocking.   But for some reason, I liked it.  I quickly became hooked.

I played safety and wide receiver during the next three years.   As a Senior, I returned punts and kickoffs too.   I was fairly fast and enjoyed the physical parts of the game.   I had dreams of a college scholarship going into my last high school season.   But then, I stepped into a huge gopher hole (pre-turf days) running a route before the season even started.   I absolutely tore up my ankle and basically limped and played half speed through most of my final season.

From there it was on to a Junior College and ultimately the University of San Diego.    Playing college football was amazing.  I learned the value of hard work, discipline and teamwork.  I also had a ton of fun with life-long friends.   I considered playing professionally in Europe but changed my mind when I was accepted to law school.

I owe lots to football.  In fact, the ONLY reason I went to college was to play.   But for football, I never would have gone at all.   And football led me to USD, which – in turn – opened doors for me that I had never even considered.

John Gomez with the USD Football Youth Program

And so now, with the football season approaching, I find myself becoming involved where I can.   I am more and more involved with USD, its team and its athletic department.  I sponsor a great youth program for great kids.   I recently took a group of them down onto the field of my college stadium.   They met some of the players, got a tour of the locker room, and had lunch on campus.  It was an awesome day.

Football has had a huge impact on my life.   I love the game and love what it teaches players.  I can’t wait for the excitement of the coming season and to root on my favorite teams – including my youngest ones.