It is homecoming week, and for Nimitz Vikings quarterback Pedro Maldonado, it brings a whirlwind of emotions. Entering his senior season, Maldonado has always been a fan of all the traditions and celebrations. While he is certainly looking forward to going to the dance with his girlfriend, the big game is what he is keeping top of mind.
“I’m ready to play, and I’m ready to win,” says Maldonado. “We are going to fight hard and hopefully come out with a victory.”
Maldonado has been playing football since he was 4 years old. He has worn the number seven every year in honor of his father, whose birthday falls on the seventh.
“Since I was little, my dad has always pushed me,” says Maldonado. “In his free time, he would take me to a field, and he and I would throw the ball around. He has always been there for me.”
His upbringing has allowed Maldonado to become enamored with the sport, but it has also paved the way for him to become the young man he is today. Among other things, he is fully aware of what it means to be an ambassador for his school and his football team.
“In school, I have to do all my work, not skip classes and show everybody what Nimitz football is all about,” says Maldonado.
His efforts certainly do not go unnoticed. Nimitz Head Football Coach Anthony Small, speaks very highly of Maldonado and credits his ability to shine through – whether in the classroom or on the gridiron.
“Off the field, he is one of the most stoic people I have ever met. He is a man of very few words, very little emotion,” says Small. “On the field, he is a man of action. He has a lot of heart, passion, energy and more fight than anybody I’ve ever seen – in the right way. He is a leader through his actions and efforts, and I couldn’t be prouder of the man he is right now.”
A true dual-threat quarterback, Maldonado can hurt opposing defenses not only with his arm but also with his legs. If the play breaks down or his receivers are covered, he is not afraid to tuck the ball and run.
“My adrenaline takes over, and all I think about is gaining yards, getting the first down and keeping the ball moving,” says Maldonado.
Maldonado hopes to go to college and would love to play football at the next level. Ever the team player, he would be willing to sit and learn behind someone else, or even switch positions if necessary.
But all that can wait. In the here and now, he is focused on this season and making his final year playing high school football a memorable one.
“Hopefully, we have a good season with a winning record, maybe make the playoffs, record some good stats and put together some film,” says Maldonado as he lists off his goals.
While Maldonado will no doubt rack up some stats this Friday at 7 PM against Fort Worth Paschal High School, he is excited to feed off the energy from the fans in the stands at Ellis Stadium cheering his team on.
“Come out and support, be loud and hopefully we come out victorious!” says Maldonado.