“Right here is the area of risk,” remarked Alan Mendoza, a linebacker for Middle Creek, as he prepared for a blitz during practice. As soon as the ball is snapped, Mendoza charges forward.
“Great job, Alan!” shouted a few of his fellow team members.
When Mendoza is not engaging in negative talk, he is actively sharing his knowledge. Due to an injury, the senior was unable to play for a significant portion of last season. However, he has been dedicating himself to watching additional film, and this effort is evident in his performance on the field.
Mendoza stated that she took this personally and used it as motivation to have her best season yet.
Mendoza’s dedication and determination as a football player and individual are evident through his hard work. In addition to focusing on the mental aspect of the game, he also puts in extra effort in the weight room.
“Our team’s head coach, Andrae Jacobs, speaks highly of Alan, a versatile and skilled young player,” said Jacobs. “I first met Alan when he was a sophomore and he was quite reserved. It’s impressive to see how much he has grown as a football player since then. He is currently the strongest player on our team.”
Mendoza is able to lift 300 pounds while bench pressing, can squat 500 pounds, and can deadlift 525 pounds using straps.
Jacobs said that he transformed from a large, bulky child to a highly athletic one. He participates in wrestling and track, and also excels academically with mostly A’s and B’s.
Mendoza attributes his strong work ethic to his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Although his father currently works as a paver, Mendoza shared that his father has been working since he was just seven years old.
Mendoza expressed, “I have always envisioned myself achieving greatness as a form of honoring my father. Saying thank you for all that you have given me is a way of showing that it has been worth it.”
Being a first generation American, Mendoza is committed to fulfilling his duties towards his family, particularly as a positive influence for his younger brother Edwin.
Mendoza suggested demonstrating a positive approach to beginning one’s life and maintaining a strong work ethic both in and out of school.
Edwin is a member of the JV football team at Middle Creek. Mendoza acts as a mentor to the entire team in his role as an intern coach.
“He is consistently striving to contribute to the program,” stated Jacobs. “He attends every JV game and offers his support to his peers in other sports. He also provides encouragement to students in the hallways. The younger players see him as a role model.”
Mendoza received the Tom Suiter Extra Effort Award from WRAL for his successes both on the field and in his studies.
“I have no doubt that he will excel at whatever he chooses to do,” commented Jacobs. “There is no task beyond his abilities.”