GRANTS – In person, Grants High School senior Daniel Sedillos, III is about as tranquil as they come.
On the football field?
Now that’s a different story.
“I can’t be a nice guy on the field,” Sedillos said, flashing the million-dollar grin that seems to melt even the hardest of hearts. “Especially on game day, when I’m trying to get fired up. During that time, I’m thinking about what I’m going to be doing, and how each play will turn out.”
It seems that Sedillos does a lot of thinking, and not just about the outcome of football contests.
He thinks a lot about being a good leader for his Pirate teammates, who seem to hang on his every word during pep talks, according to Head Coach Dale Hooper.
“I guess it’s because since my freshman year, I’ve been there through all the summer workouts, and I hardly ever miss practice,” the GHS senior said, surmising why his teammates have such respect for him. “A lot of the other guys on the team are like that too. They’re not a bunch of slouches, so it’s not only me that is out there giving 100 percent.”
Hooper agreed, and though he will often not single out any of his players, for fear that others might feel slighted, he can’t help but heap praise on Sedillos for his on- and off-the-field endeavors.
“I try to instill leadership qualities to all my guys,” Hooper said. “And I always tell them, ‘Don’t try to be the popular person - be the respected person.’ And that fits Daniel to a ‘T.’ I see how all of the people at our school have such respect for that young man. He stands for something, and I would be proud to have him as a son.”
That honor is not his, though, but the honor of father Daniel Sedillos, Jr. and mother Christy Guy. Sedillos, III said that each parent serves a different role in his life, and insisted that they are to be credited for bringing him up the right way.
“They both have really motivated me since I started high school,” Sedillos said. “My mom, she’s more there for me on the academics’ side, pushing me to do my homework and urging me to be active in the community. And my dad, he also helps with the academics, but in sports he’s my greatest influence. I’ve always wanted to be better than him, and that’s what pushes me.”
For Sedillos, III to be better than Sedillos, Jr. on the football field does seem like a tall order, considering the latter was part of the 1986 GHS football team that many cite as the best ever to wave the Angry Jack flag.
Yet in a way, Sedillos, III knows that where that sort of prestige might be unattainable, it definitely won’t deter him from continuing to give 100 percent on the football field– no matter the outcome.
“Like last week, I had a bunch of tackles, but I was in no way satisfied with the loss,” he said, referring to the Pirates’ defeat at the hands of Piedra Vista. “Sometimes I have a crappy game, and I’m as happy as can be. But it’s about the team and not individual players doing well. I don’t think anyone on this team says, ‘I did great’ and is just content with that.”
As for plans beyond football and school, Sedillos admited that a post-high school career in athletics might never present itself.
“If football brought an opportunity for me to go to school for free, I would do it,” Sedillos said, “especially if it would cost more to go without football.”
And as for that budding career as a journalist (Sedillos contributes articles to the Beacon sports’ page), he said that in fact, he has designs for something a little different academically.
“Working for the Beacon has been great, but I really like math and science a lot,” Sedillos said, “mostly because of Mr. Lowther. He’s been my math teacher since my sophomore year, and he has just helped me so much.”
In his free time, Sedillos loves hunting, and he will continue to wrestle for GHS in the winter and perhaps play baseball for Coach Walter Sarracino in the spring.