TAMU-CC Hispanic Student-Athletes Represent Their Hispanic Community

Gabriella+Torres+is+a+senior+catcher+on+the+women%E2%80%99s+softball+team.%0AGabriella+Ruiz%2F+Island+Waves%0A

Gabriella Torres is a senior catcher on the women’s softball team. Gabriella Ruiz/ Island Waves

Gabriella Ruiz, Sports Editor/Reporter

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi is a Hispanic-Serving institution that has 228 student-athletes on campus, 50 of them being Hispanic. 

These Hispanic student-athletes all have their own perspective of what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them and how the Hispanic community shaped them to be the person they are today. On a campus full of different cultures, these Hispanic student-athletes shared how they honor and represent their heritage on and off the field. 

Jaime Ramirez Jr. is a senior baseball player from San Antonio. 

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic student-athlete here at TAMU-CC?

“My biggest thing was just being a hard worker, just always putting in the time and effort. For me as a Hispanic athlete, it just means being a hard worker, just always being the first one there, last one to leave, never missing a rep, things like that, you know, school too.” 

What impact did your heritage have on your decision to play your sport? 

I was actually a really good football player and I could have got to play college football, but you know, being Hispanic and not saying that all Hispanics are short, but a lot of us are undersized and just having that hard work and dedication, I just knew baseball was the route that I wanted to take.” 

Who is the most influential person in your life? 

“I have to say my cousin Eric, he’s just always been a person that I’ve looked up to. He’s always influenced me to just keep working.” 

Gabriella Torres, a senior softball player from San Antonio

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic student-athlete here at TAMU-CC?

“I am not hesitant to express myself or my culture here at TAMU-CC because of how much the student body is Hispanic. So we are able to come together and use this commonality to bond over.” 

What impact did your heritage have on your decision to play your sport?

“Being a part of the Hispanic heritage, we learn the value of hard work at a young age and see examples of this growing up, like watching our grandparents, parents, etc. I decided to use that value and express it into the sport of softball because you grow passion for the game, but being able to keep up with it takes grit.”

Who is the most influential person in your life? 

“My mom. She taught me so many things and has made me into the person I am today.I don’t know where I would be without her.” 

Carmen Cervantez is a sophomore soccer player from Lubbock

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic student-athlete here at TAMU-CC? 

“I’m proud to represent my heritage here at TAMU-CC, especially as a student-athlete.”

What impact does your heritage have on your decision to play your sport? 

“I grew up playing soccer since I was three. Soccer has always been a huge part of my family, so I naturally fell in love with the sport at a young age.”

Who is the most influential person in your life?

“The most influential person in my life is my dad. He has been my biggest supporter since I started playing soccer. He coached me when I was young and connected me to several coaches who contributed to my path of landing here on the women’s soccer team.” 

Rogerio (Roy) Gomez is a sophomore from San Benito on the men’s cross country team. 

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic student-athlete here at TAMU-CC?

“From where I come from, there’s not a lot of people that continue the sport after high school. I think I set a good role model for people back at home. It’s awesome to represent where I come from, representing my family, and my heritage as a Hispanic student.”

What impact does your heritage have on your decision to play your sport? 

“I think it plays a huge impact, like I said there’s not a lot of people that continue back home from where I come from. Doing that means a lot to me and I get the chance to just do what I love every day.” 

Who is the most influential person in your life?

“I would say my mom. She really pushed me to do greater things, not just in sports, but in academics also.” 

Natalie Gonzalez is a senior soccer player from El Paso

What does it mean to you to be a Hispanic student-athlete here at TAMU-CC?

“What it means to me is to basically just make sure I take on the opportunity in which I was given. Being a first generation college student for my family, I always just make sure that I put my best foot forward and do my best and all.”

What impact does your heritage have on your decision to play your sport? 

“I feel like there are many individuals within my culture who do want to have this opportunity but aren’t necessarily given the proper resources as others may. So because I was blessed enough to receive the proper resources, I didn’t want to take advantage of the opportunity in which I was given.” 

Who is the most influential person in your life? 

“I have two. My grandfather was also a hispanic himself, he actually fought in the Vietnam war. He made a lot of sacrifices and wasn’t able to get this opportunity, so because of him and his story, it kind of wanted me to accomplish this for not only him but for my family as well. Another influential person would have to be my father, as he does serve in the U.S. Army.” 

Islander Athletics gives their Hispanic student-athletes the opportunity to share what their culture means to them with social media posts or acknowledging them at games. It gives the student-athletes a voice to be representatives of their Hispanic community. 

“We celebrate a diverse group of students here and we are obviously a Hispanic serving institution, so we have a large number of Hispanic students,” Athletic Director Jon Palumbo said. “[Hispanic Heritage Month] is a time where I certainly could feel the pride of the Hispanic community and I think it’s a great opportunity to celebrate them and allow them to, again, tell the stories of their history and traditions.”