Sports & Recreation

Figueroa attempts to catch the ball from his teammate during a game earlier this year.

Staying Busy All Year Round in Sports

By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

Anthony Figueroa is the second eldest of six siblings; he was born and raised in Norwalk, California. Figueroa is the grandchild of the late Edwin Lloyd Paul Sr., Genie M. Paul and the great grandchild of the late Lloyd and Edna Paul.

Figueroa started playing sports at the age of 5-years-old. “We introduced him to as much sports as possible,” said his proud mother Veronica Figueroa. “We tell our children don't say you don't like a sport if you haven't tried it yet and volleyball is a perfect example of that,” she said. This year Anthony is starting off his freshman year in football then will continue with baseball.

Last year when Figueroa was an eighth grader at Saint Linus Elementary School, the school offered an athletic scholarship to eighth graders if they were going to continue their education at a Catholic high school. Although the elementary school offered flag football, basketball and boys volleyball, Figueroa only participated in flag football and basketball and played baseball outside of school.

During his eighth- grade year, his mom told him he should try for volleyball and his response was that volleyball was for girls. That same year his dad was coaching the St. Linus girl’s volleyball team and offered to coach the St. John Bosco High School boy’s volleyball team. It was then Anthony and his brother Humberto Jr. decided to give volleyball a try.

Picking up the sport was a little hard, trying to keep the ball going over the net needed practice, but it didn’t discourage Figueroa. Once their father starting coaching they would have intense practices and entered the team in several tournaments before the season started. During the season, the team had several wins that qualified them for the playoffs and got as far as the sweet sixteen in California. With that, Anthony fell in love with the sport.

“I like going to St. John Bosco High School because there are good people [staff] and my friends are there and the programs for all the sports are great,” said Figueroa about his high school.

At Bosco High he is a wide receiver for the freshman football team and in baseball he is left fielder, and pitcher.

“In baseball my favorite position is left field because it’s just me out there and I have control of an area that I have to worry about,” said Figueroa.

Figueroa has played baseball with Pony Baseball League in Norwalk since 2000. In 2010, his last year he was picked for the All Star baseball team then he played Pop Warner football for one year and soccer for two years.

His mother said as he was growing up sports was for fun and he didn't take anything serious. But now at high school he sees that it is more than just fun. He sees that you really have to work hard to get ahead, or even be noticed. We as parents remind him that school is first, that his grades are his tickets to college. If he can show that he can maintain 2.50 grade point average (GPA) or above and still be in sports says a lot for him.

“We do push for a higher GPA,” said his mother. “The high school has a program that the parents can go online to see their child's current grades, homework, missed assignments, tardies, etc. I check it daily, and he doesn't like it but it keeps him on his toes.”

When asked what he enjoys most about being in numerous sports Figueroa said, “The work and wanting to be out there to play a sport and to be good at a sport that I like; there are no grades for sports.”

Figueroa said his favorite subject is World Literature because, “I get to learn about the world before, how they lived, and how they play games and work.”
“The difficult things about school today is waking up so early and then waiting for the weekend,” said Figueroa. “On my free time I go hang out with my friends or practice just to be a little better than the other guy in sports.”

His mother tells all her sons, sports is not everything and if they make it professionally in sports they still need an education as a back up. She said her son [Anthony] wants to own a franchise and be a business owner. She explained he got that idea from the movie Blindside. In that movie the family that took in the football player, the father was wealthy because he owned several Taco Bell restaurants. Anthony and his brother have planned on going to business school and working together.

“We are very proud of him that he works so hard at school and sports,” said his mother.

Name: Anthony E. Figueroa No.08
Age: 15
Parents: Humberto Figueroa, P.E. Teacher and Veronica E. Paul Figueroa, pharmacy technician.
Siblings: Justine 20, Humberto Jr. 14, Alexander 10, Nicholas 6, and Edwin 1.
School: St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California
Grade: Freshman
Sport: Football, Baseball and Volleyball.
What are your favorites movies? My favorite movie is Troy because I love Greek history.
My favorite food: Soup, any kind of soup, all of them keep me warm.
My favorite game: Call Of Duty Black Ops
What do you want to be when you grow up: I'm not sure what I want to be right now because I'm just thinking about today, but I'll know by next year.
GPA: 3.12. He is enrolled in seven subjects.

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