FNR Report: Clovis vs Central
FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) —
Our Friday Night Rivals game this week features a pair of teams off to a combined 11-1 start.
You can watch the Clovis High Cougars take on the Central Grizzlies at 7:00 p.m. on our sister station, CW59.
FOX26 Sports reporter Nick King introduces you to some guys who don't normally get the publicity... the top lineman from each team.
Central lineman, Zach Rivero. What's your favorite part about the sport?
"Definitely, being able to hit people without getting in trouble," said Rivero. "That's always been one of the main things. Also, just having a family atmosphere."
Rivero is versatile, a team player, willing to help Central wherever he's needed. This season, the senior has played left tackle, left guard, center and right guard.
Coach Kyle Biggs said, "He's like a coach on the field this year. He's working his butt off. He made a mistake on Friday night and he was down here with an assistant coach working on fundamentals during the game on Friday. That's just a testament to the type of kid he is."
Rivero is a big kid, listed at 320 lbs., but Coach Biggs says he's athletic for his size and to that point, Rivero is also a goalie for the soccer team.
Rivero plans to go to Fresno City College and then Fresno State, before getting a masters in psychiatry.
Coach Biggs said, "Super nice kid off the field, really funny, really intelligent, then when he gets on the football field, he's got a little nasty streak in him. And you know, you kind of want your linemen to have a little nasty in them, and he kind of has that."
At Clovis High, Anthony Aldape is undersized for his position, a defensive lineman weighing 225 pounds.
But the 3-year starter makes up for it by playing with, as Coach Rich Hammond describes it, an undying tenacity. "Big, black-rimmed glasses every day at school, and then he gets out on the football field and those glasses come off and he becomes a little bit like Superman, and he just plays with this reckless abandon and wildness that is just, it's infectious amongst his teammates and everybody loves to be around him," said Hammond.
Anthony Aldape said, "I play with a lot of passion. You see pictures of me, with my hands in the air and screaming. Everybody makes fun of with my stomping and screaming - but I love it."
Aldape's passion is what's allowed him to play through incredible pain since his freshman year. He's been to multiple doctors and takes medication but nothing solves the tightness in his ligaments and joints. Still, as the team leader recently told his Cougars teammates... "I quit track, I quit wrestling because I couldn't take it. But I couldn't quit football," said Aldape. "I told them I couldn't go up to them and look them in the eye and tell them that I couldn't do it anymore. I've been playing with these guys signs 7th grade, and I couldn't do that."
Aldape plans to continue playing football, first at Fresno City, and then Fresno State.