The most important muscle in a football player is his heart. That can be taken figuratively or literally. The same can be said for a football team and a football program.
The Ramona High School freshman football team has heart. The class of 2016 has added another man to its team. The players have made him feel wanted and have accepted him with open arms.
Josh Guzman is a freshman at Ramona High School. He loves football and he loves the frosh team at RHS. He has gone to all of the freshmen games, both home and away. He has been on the sidelines. He watches the games from his wheelchair. Josh has cerebral palsy.
Coach Mike Schuler noticed Josh at the games and when asked if he could spare a jersey for Josh to wear, Shuler responded, “Only team members get jerseys. So we will make Josh a part of our team. He is a loyal Bulldog. We will also make him an honorary captain.” This was before Schuler knew that Josh was the cousin of his quarterback Marco Cobian.
Marco is a captain and last Thursday he wheeled Josh, the honorary captain and his cousin, out to the R at midfield for the coin toss.
Josh will never get into a game but he does line up with the team after the games and he gives the opponents high fives in the sportsmanship line. The opponents have also accepted Josh as a worthy opponent and treat him like every other member of the team.
“Yesterday was the best day in Josh’s life. I have never seen him happier. I was having a bad day, but when I saw Josh at midfield with his cousin, it made my day too. The coaches and team will never know how much I appreciate what they have done for Josh and how much it means to him,” said his mother, Nora, who attended Ramona High School and lettered in basketball for the Lady Bulldogs.
Her brothers and Josh’s uncles, George and Joe Cobian, played at RHS and played college football at Baker University in Kansas. Her brother Cesar also played football at RHS. Her sister, Elizabeth, also lettered in basketball. Josh’s grandfather, Jose Cobian, was a longtime athletic equipment man at RHS. So Josh is a part of a Bulldog family.
“We consider our football program a Bulldog family. Players, coaches, staff, parents, guardians, fans, Bulldog Angels, trainers, team doctor and boosters are all a part of that family. Josh is an important part of that family,” said Coach Damon Baldwin when asked about Josh being an honorary captain. “He is an honorary captain, but he is a member of our team.”
It is yet to be seen if Josh will move up the ranks in the football program from frosh to JV to varsity. That is up to Josh.