Playing for Zeus

Posted at 12:13 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 02:13:39-05

LAMAR — It's their last practice before the biggest game of their lives and the Savages are leaving it all out on the field.

"We know how much it would mean to him to be out here," senior quarterback Zane Rankin said.

When Lamar steps between the lines Friday against Eaton for their first state title game in 60 years, they'll be playing for each other and for "Zeus".

"Every play out there is for him and to show what a great person he is," senior wide receiver Blake Buxton said.

"Zeus" is short for Jesus Gonzalez. The senior standout was unable to suit up this season due to a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia.

"Honestly it's like anything sports has told me if you fall down get back up," Gonzalez said. "I told the guys you fight on the field and I'll fight here, always been like that."

A true inspiration, the 18-year old's battle has galvanized this Savage squad, allowing them to do the unthinkable in upsetting higher seeds like Sterling and Delta on their way to the Thunderbowl.

"What is Zeus going to do is he going to quit, no,?" Rankin said.

"He was a really good defensive player, so we always say do this for Zeus, we make plays, tackle, hit hard, and do it for him," senior defensive back Damian Ramos said.

After receiving a bone marrow donation from his sister, the Gonzalez family is optimistic Zeus will make a full recovery and has been medically cleared to attend the title game.

"We want him to know he's still a huge part of the team," Rankin said. "We're going to do this for you, get after it, and celebrate after."

His only wish, aside from playing in the game, is for this senior-laden group to finish what they started a decade ago.

"This has been our dream since we were in seventh grade, leave it all out there, no regrets, that's it," Gonzalez said.

To find out more on how you can help in Jesus Gonzalez's recovery, click here: Zeus's Fight