By Wendy Valentinez
Gilbert Duran, football and baseball player, has earned the honor of being one of the Palomares Outstanding Seniors. Duran is known for pouring his blood and sweat into everything he does, keeping him focused in his future. His teammates often remark that he’s an amazing guy with a bright future with a lot of potential. Duran not only played two sports but played on a league team outside of school for a couple years, and he only stopped due to playing for school. Duran finishes his senior year with a 3.63 GPA at Ayala.
He is a valued player in the Bulldog family who has demonstrated has great leadership on and off the field. Duran loves to be very vocal to his teammates by giving them advice. According to him, it is an easy formula off the field to put in the work from Monday-Wednesday and turn up on game day. Every teacher and student who knows Duran loves to see him because he brings joy into the room; even before he walks in, everyone knows how wonderful of a kid Duran is.
He owes a lot of his spirit to by Mr. Sergio Robleto, who Duran named as his most inspirational teacher at Ayala. “Mr. Robleto was just a great teacher overall. He opened up to me when we had some time inbetween our work in class about our everyday lives. We had a great bond. One favorite memory was the day after my dog died, he drew a sketch with a pencil and it looked phenomenal."
Not only did Mr. Robleto foster his appreciation of art, but Duran also felt supported on the field by him as well. "He was also the scoreboard person so he would evaluate my game and tell me what I did wrong and what I did right from what he knew about football. Besides being a teacher overall a great guy and big personality.”
As Duran, or "Gil" as he is often called, was asked if he was going to college, he said, “I have decided to take advantage [of community college] and get my general education classes out of my way at a way less expensive JC then pursue my football career and hopefully transfer out to a D1 school to play ball.”
Duran was not only a scholar-athlete, but a son and a friend who cares for others and puts others before himself. His parents mean a lot to him, having them around makes him happy. Duran hopes to do the most for his parents and show anyone who may have underestimated him that he can achieve it all. Gil's final remark is that “the man above is the one doing everything for me, it’s his plan.”