Athletes of the Year: The Humble Mustangs

Both Victor Sanchez and Anela Zamarron are humble people who have excelled in their respective sports and were recognized by their high school as Senior Athletes of the Year.

Gilroy has no shortage of athletes who have earned accolades and have stats to back it up.
But the two athletes of the year don’t have the statistics and plethora of accolades. They simply did their jobs, quietly succeeded and were rewarded at the end of the season banquet.
Anela Zamarron and Victor Sanchez were named the Seniors Athletes of the Year for Gilroy.
Both were two-sport athletes who had success at two spots that normally don’t get noticed.
Sanchez was a lineman on the Gilroy football team and was a competitor in the throws for track and field.
Zamarron was a thrower who advanced to the CCS Finals in the shotput, taking fifth.
What they possibly have over everyone else, however, are infectious smiles and a humbleness about them that teammates and others can’t help but gravitate toward.
“It was really cool to be named athlete of the year because I didn’t think I had done anything that special compared to some of the other girls I knew who did three sports or more,” Zamarron said.
Even during the announcement of the Senior Athletes of the Year, it was Sanchez’ smile that got referenced right along with his athletic accomplishments.
“When they called my name, I was just smiling because I didn’t’ think I was going to get it,” Sanchez said.
Zamarron, who comes off as soft spoken as she does intelligent, is one who wanted to be there for her team, even if it meant taking a few lumps.
In her lone year on the water polo team, Zamarron played goalie. A position she accepted and got a lot of support from her teammates, she said.
The only thing about being a goal keeper is not being afraid to get hit by the ball. And she got hit on more than her share of occasions.
But that fifth place is not something Zamarron is going to brag about.
She believes she should have done better and should have gone on to the state championships.
Zamarron still recognizes the accomplishment and thinks she’ll look back on it later and be happy.
“Looking back on it years in the future, I probably won’t understand why I wasn’t proud of myself. It was exhilarating and a good moment to remember,” Zamarron said.
It was, after all, the furthest she’s advanced at the CCS championships.
“The previous years I did track and field, I only ever made it to the CCS Semis,” Zamarron said. “That was always the spot I got stopped at because I got into my own head. This year, finally, I was able to get past that and being able to place at CCS finals was super exhilarating and awesome at the same time.”
Zamarron said she was able to go over the top this year thanks to the coaching from Justin Lucas who was able to show the throwers some techniques to improve their distances.
She had been doing track and field since middle school, but only got into water polo recently.
Zamarron said she considered joining the team her junior year, but ran out of time. But she didn’t allow the opportunity to pass her senior year.
Sanchez got interested in track in his eighth grade year while watching his freshman brother compete.
Art Silva welcomed Sanchez into track and field and after some quick success, the sport stuck.
“I just wanted to have fun during track. I didn’t know I was going to get any awards,” Sanchez said. “I just wanted to compete for fun and hang out with the people on the track team and make more friends.”
Sanchez’s best moments, however, came in football. He said being able to go to the CCS  playoffs was among his proudest moments at Gilroy High School.
“It was one of my best moments that I got to experience,” Sanchez said.
But it still was hard to beat his varsity debut in 2014 at Live Oak when he got to start.
Sanchez got started in football at the urging of his father to get involved in an activity so he wouldn’t just come home after school.
Sanchez said football quickly turned from something he did just to appease his dad to an activity he loved, but the whole time, he wanted to make sure he didn’t disappoint his father.
“My dad gave me sweet, hard love,” Sanchez said. “He’s sweet, but also he isn’t soft. He makes sure I do everything. When I try something, he doesn’t want me to stop. He wants me to keep going.”
Zamarron said her grandparents worked in the fields and her mother didn’t see many accolades in school. As a result, Zamarron said her family has been 100 percent behind her no matter how big or small an accomplishment was.
“They were like do as good as you can. We’ll be here to celebrate no matter what,” Zamarron said.