Indians' Gonzales will play football at GCCC
Published on -2/28/2013, 10:35 AM
By KLINT SPILLER
Hays High School senior Hunter Gonzales' college decision was simple. He wanted to go to school where he had family ties.
Gonzales signed his letter of intent to play football at Garden City Community College on Wednesday at the HHS dining hall.
Gonzales said he liked the coaches there as well as the campus, but a significant factor in his recruiting was his family connections to the region.
His aunt and grandfather live there, and his uncle, Robert Gonzales, played as a defensive lineman there.
"My grandpa lives alone, and he's getting a little older," Gonzales said. "... I felt like I could be down there and keep him out of trouble and help make sure he's healthy."
Gonzales started on the offensive line for Hays High this season as a quick tackle, but battled injury issues that kept him off the field late in the season.
Though he saw limited action, Gonzales helped put together an offensive line that graduated a strong senior nucleus from the previous season.
"It was tough at the beginning, but I think we came together as a group," Gonzales said.
Hays High football coach Ryan Cornelsen said he has potential. He has a wide frame and stands 6-foot-3.
"You see his frame, and you think he's got a shot," Cornelsen said. "But he's also a hard worker. He's a good kid. It's important to him. Anytime you put that combination together, you're going to have a shot to go on and play."
Gonzales said the possibility of playing collegiate football didn't set in until the early part of the regular season. Coaches from Bethel College watched him play at McPherson, and then he was talked to by GCCC and Dodge City Community College.
"I felt like (GCCC) was a better place and a better environment for me to go," Gonzales said.
He said he doesn't know where he'll play at GCCC, but he expects to be on the offensive line.
"Wherever they'll need me, they'll put me, and I'll do whatever I can do down there," Gonzales said.