Resilient senior pursues sports despite obstacles

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Courtesy of Cady

Earlier in the year, senior Angel Guerra was found hitting the court for JV basketball.

Sydney Chin, Editor-in-chief

Initially unable to participate in school sports due to financial and family medical reasons, senior Bronco and all-around athlete Angel Guerra has exemplified patience and perseverance in her life. 

“I never received an in-person education until my sophomore year going into Junior year,” said senior Guerra. “I spent all summer working three jobs and doing classes online trying to catch up all the years I missed, and I still am. My mom was too sick and made me stay at home.”

Unfortunately, during Guerra’s high school years, her mother passed away from cancer. Despite this, she maintains a positive and determined outlook on life, continuing to work to support herself and grateful for the fact that her current guardians allow her to participate in any sport she wants.

“I don’t like sports, I love sports,” Guerra gushed. “Growing up I had nothing at all. In Belle Glade, there is nothing but sports. When I’d play whatever it was I was playing, I’d be so distracted that I forgot about my home situation or my past for a few hours. I thought about the game. It saved me.”

Throughout the year, Guerra maintains a busy schedule participating in both cross country and JV basketball on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while working on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

“When people hear about my story, they’re shocked I even made it this far,” said Guerra.

Over the past two years, Guerra’s main sport has been basketball where she played point guard. This season, however, she has had to take an early exit due to personal reasons.

“First of all, Angel Guerra is one of my favorite people,” explained JV Girl’s Basketball coach Mr. Gaffney. “She is a great kid and hard worker. She brought a good work ethic to the basketball team, great attitude, and always positive. Just who she is as a person translated to basketball. Like I said, she is one of my favorite kids. She is just a great person.”

Through her time on the team, she has received many valuable lessons regarding herself and others. 

“My favorite memory would be the whole experience,” Guerra explained. “They teach us life lessons. They teach us how to be supportive towards others and to always take care of yourself. They teach you how to be a family.”

From her presence on the court, Guerra was invited by former cross country coach Ms. Martell to join cross country. Accepting the offer and wanting additional training for basketball, she has come to love both of her sports, even winning an honors medal at one of her races for her integrity.

“I ended up messing up and realizing that I did the course wrong,” explained Guerra. “So, I told the people at the race and they gave me an honors award because I could have just went home with someone’s award who actually deserved it.”

Even with her love of sports, Guerra has shown her dedication in other aspects of her life taking honors courses and working several jobs throughout her high school career.

“[My favorite thing about Angel Guerra is] definitely her thoroughness and attention to detail!” said math teacher Mr. Brennan. “I have never received any work from her that wasn’t marked up with a highlighter, filled with footnotes, and covered front and back with long, thought-provoking answers and comments.”

From the trials faced in her life, Guerra has gained a new perspective on life.

“I wish people would learn to do what they want because life is so short,” said Guerra. “I’ve lost my mom due to cancer and family and friends to murders and accidents. It’s crazy how many people drop like flies and how suddenly things happen. I’m just grateful for another day. I wish people would learn to work hard and continue to try, a little progress each day is still something.”

After graduating from high school, Guerra plans on attending Palm Beach State College to earn her associate’s degree and then to transfer to the University of South Florida to get her bachelor’s degree. She hopes to major in the Medical field in either nursing or radiology.

“I find interest in the medical field because I already know what it’s like to have to take care of somebody,” explained Guerra. “Image all the rest of the people on Earth who do. The medical field needs as many people as possible, and everyone needs help at some point.”

Until then, this Bronco plans on continuing to work hard both in and out of school.

“Believe in yourself,” Guerra emphasized. “Have confidence, love yourself, and try to think positive, that is how success happens.”