Like every other player on Rocky Mountain High’s varsity football team, Horacio Gutierrez was issued a helmet, pads and uniform at the beginning of the season.
Although Gutierrez has yet to take the field in that uniform, he knows better than anyone the privilege that comes with representing the defending 5A state champions on game day.
With his legs weakened by complications from hydrocephalus, Gutierrez patrols the Grizzlies’ sideline in a wheelchair, celebrating with teammates after touchdowns and commiserating when plays don’t go quite right.
I told him I would love to help out with the team, and he said, ‘That’s great. We’d love to have you out there.’
Horacio Gutierrez, on breaking the ice with Rocky football coach Scott Criner
He attends every practice, soaking in the details with the hope that he may some day get a chance to use that knowledge in a game.
Coach Scott Criner and the rest of the Grizzlies are determined to make that happen.
“He is part of us, and our goal is to get him in for a play,” Criner said.