By LARRY GAGE
From August to November it’s all football for Rivera, who played on the offensive line for the Tarpon’s 2010 co-district champion team. The week after the last football game was played he reported for basketball practice. And when the final buzzer sounded to end the last game of the year on the hard court in March, it’s off to the baseball diamond.
Rivera plays catcher for head baseball coach Robert Holland’s squad. Since entering high school, though, he hasn’t always been the one player on the team who wears a mask. “I’ve played catcher since I was a freshman,” he said last week before practice. “Last year I played in the outfield a little. I enjoy being behind the plate, making the calls.”
So, of the three sports, do you have a favorite? “I like them all but baseball is really fun for me, because I’ve been playing it since I was about four.”
One skill a catcher needs to have is the ability to throw out opposing runners attempting to steal second base, and Rivera has nailed a few this season. “My arm has come along as I got older,” Rivera said. “It wasn’t that great my freshman year. You’ve got to be accurate, throwing to second.”
So how are you at the plate when it comes to hitting, any home runs this season? “No sir, I haven’t hit a home run this season. I’m more of a contact hitter. I get on base and a courtesy (pinch) runner comes in for me, because I’m not that fast.”
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Apr. 18 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.