by Brian Manning
WALSENBURG — Mark Gomez believes in our youth and is willing to volunteer time and money as a coach for soccer and basketball. He is one of many coaches who spend countless hours molding our youth as team members, good students and physically fit citizens. Before coaching he was a Cub Scout leader.
Gomez was born and raised in Walsenburg and both of his parents were teachers. They instilled in him the importance of a good education, good sportsmanship, and helping others in the community by volunteering. He graduated from Walsenburg High School where he played baseball and football.
Gomez still has these values and now volunteers as a coach for soccer and basketball with children from pre-K through sixth grade. The program is funded through the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth, a non-profit, that operates on grants, donations, fundraising and product sales. The City of Walsenburg pays the registration fees for students who cannot afford to and the annual banquet is paid for by the San Isabel Electric Cooperative.
More than 210 children have participated in these sports activities in the last three years. Gomez makes sure they have enough practices to keep them focused and physically fit. Not only does he coach his students, but he also visits their classrooms to make sure they are keeping their grades up. He feels their education is very important for their future and their grades must be acceptable to play on the team.
His teams play hard and with pride. The 1st and 2nd grade basketball team went undefeated last season. The other teams also had very good records. Gomez says winning is important, but he likes to put emphasis on sportsmanship and building good character for the players. He has paid for shoes out of his own pocket for players who could not afford them. One year he bought trophies to hand out at the end-of -the-year dinner.
Gomez’s wife, Sherry, is the Director of the Spanish Peaks Hospital Emergency Room. They have two children: daughter, Brenna, is a graduate of Colorado College and works with teenage children, andson, Kyle, who is in the third grade and is very active in sports and scouts.
Gomez says coaching keeps him as active and fit as the players. Mark Gomez is greatly respected in his community and the children look up to him for his leadership and dedication. He is one person who makes a difference in Huerfano County. We should all thank Mark for his dedicated service.
The HWJ plans to honor volunteers throughout the summer. If you want to nominate someone to be honored, please call us at 738-1415.
Wins over 20 awards at the annual Colorado Press Association convention, including General Excellence for the second year in a row World Journal Staff Report