By J.L. Stephenson, Grade 11
He’s a rather unconventional hero, in many ways a true backbone to all he supports: September’s Athlete Spotlight of The Month is varsity football’s Edward G. Gathuru.
Gathuru began his training with Dragon football in June, but it wasn’t the football he was interested in. “He showed up over summer” comments linebacker Ryan Palczynski, “Just to simply get in shape with his friends, not to play”. Edward, or just simply Eddie to most, wasn’t a football type of kid in June, but that has certainly changed. “I don’t think it was the game that made him join the team” states defensive back and defensive captain Jack Stephenson, “It was about the team, the bonding”. Regardless of his motive, Gathuru transformed over the following months into a key player in the Dragon offense. “He’s a starting split end now” laughs Coach Mark Ortiz, “And he absolutely earned it, when he came out he couldn’t even catch a cold and now the guy has hands like glue”. If you truly want to hear of Gathuru’s development as a player, simply talk to quarterbacks Maxim Zheltonogov and Johnny Stimax Jr., both of whom threw countless passes to Gathuru in 100+ degree August heat and watched as stone hands turned into some of the best on the squad. “The whole team gets behind him” says Coach Ortiz, “There’s nothing better than seeing a guy go from bottom to top with so much hard work, and everyone loves it, he brings everything to the team. He brings drive, dedication and the passion to win”.
Gathuru not only excels on the field but also in the classroom. He’s one of three National Honor Society members on the Dragon roster, and ranks high academically among his classmates. “He’s a genius I think” says Stephenson, “One of the few people who could make me reverse my opinions on a dime”. He’s a true leader, strong in and out of the huddle, and is constantly displaying all qualities of what Imagine International looks for in their student athletes.
He has multiple recorded catches over the last two season games, and is an escape route if any quarterback needs a surefire way to move up the field. If you at some point get the opportunity to witness the spirit he brings to the game, you must jump on it. “Eddie is our symbol of hope, the whole team is behind this guy” says linebacker/wide receiver Ben Young.
There’s something down deep in each and everyone’s soul that pushes them to pull for the underdog, the darkhorse, the Eddie perhaps, and when they find victory and success the entire world is with them. It’s a small world at Imagine International, but without a doubt everyone within it is on the September Athlete of The Month, Edward Gathuru’s, bandwagon.