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Scholar Athlete of the Week
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Student Athlete of the Week – Simon Gaete


"Oh, I'm hungry. I'm ready to eat, I'm ready to eat."

That's the Simon Gaete you see on the field for Palm Desert every Friday night. Racking up enough rushing yards to lead the entire state of California this season. But there's another side of Simon that his teammates and coaches know.

"I call him a weirdo all the time," said Aztecs' Head Football Coach Shane McComb. "He's a funny kid, fun to have around. He's a great kid, great teammate, he plays the piano, plays the trumpet, he's got all kinds of talents, and he's going to do great in life."

The senior running back also excels in the classroom, with dreams of becoming a nurse anesthetist.

"My dad is a pharmacist and my mom's a dietitian, so I it's all about health in our family. We're all in the Sciences," Gaete said. "I've always been interested in chemistry, especially."

After this season, playing at the next level is a real possibility. And it all started with a position change.

"He's been a three-year starter for us but he played slot for us last couple years and broke the news to him after last season that you know where to put in my running back next year and he took it to the heart, man," said McComb. "He was here every day after our workouts in the offseason doing extra work and put on about 20 pounds. He took it seriously and it's obviously showing."

"I worked really hard throughout the offseason, I'd workout by myself if no one could work out and it paid off," Gaete said.

Even though the statistics are under his name, Gaete will be the first to credit his offensive line and coaching staff for their contributions.

"Teamwork is everything for me," he said. "I love playing with all my… they're family now. I love playing with them and we've all been really close together and that's the best thing."

"Everything that we've asked them to do the last four years he's done. No matter what it was, on or off the field," said McComb. "He's great teammate, shows up every day ready to work, and the rest of the kids see that too, and you know him and the offensive line are just molding right now, and it's a good thing to see."

"I don't think I would have grown so much without this group of coaches," Gaete said. "It's really just been an honor playing with Coach McComb and Coach Forti and just the rest of the coaching staff they just been so great and so inspirational."

So watch out world, here comes Simon Gaete. Good luck bringing him down.

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Blake Arthur

Sports Director Blake Arthur joined the KESQ/CBS Local 2 team in August of 2015. Learn more about Blake here.


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