Anthony Hernandez’s magical senior season as quarterback for Barbara Goleman Senior High School and his superb performance in the classroom didn’t go unnoticed.
Hernandez, 19, a freshman
at the University of Florida, was awarded the 8th annual Coach Rick Football Scholarship Award earlier this year for his accomplishments during 2019 – 2020.
“I feel that I achieved something great through perseverance and being dedicated to the sport and my academics,” Hernandez said.
He credited his father Marco Hernandez for teaching him
to play football when he was young.
The $500 scholarship goes to a Gators football player who demonstrates excellence in sports and academics.
Goleman postponed giving out the award last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It was named for former Goleman assistant football coach and alumnus Rick Quintanilla, who died of brain cancer at the age of 23 in 2011.
Hernandez rose from a rookie sophomore quarterback in 2017 to an upper echelon quarterback in 2019, head football coach Ariel Cribeiro said.
To get there, Hernandez overcame a devastating shoulder injury that sidelined him for much of his junior season.
“The minute he came back from his injury, he always found a way to win, especially during tough games,” said Goleman’s defensive back coach John Murillo. He is the father of the late Rick Quintanilla and his twin brother Peter Quintanilla.
“If we needed a win, he got it for us,” Murillo said. “If not passing the ball, he would do it running.”
Hernandez almost helped the Gators achieve a perfect season during his senior year, but the team lost the inaugural Greater Miami Athletic Conference Championship game to Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School.
Despite that heartbreaker, Cribeiro said Hernandez set a school season record for passing with 1,916 yards, 26 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
He completed 61 percent of his passes and he ran for 491 yards and rushed for 9 touchdowns.
“He became a leader and stayed focused that season,” Cribeiro said. “We are proud
of Anthony Hernandez. This young man will go on to do great things.”
Hernandez graduated with a 5.13 GPA and scored 1300 on his SATs, which earned him an academic scholarship in Gainesville.
Because of his size, Hernandez said he’ll limit college play to flag football. He’s majoring in sports management.
Rick Quintanilla was a linebacker and his twin brother Peter Quintanilla, played defensive back for Goleman.
Murillo said Hernandez demonstrated the same work ethic and character as his sons when they played for the Gators.
He predicted that Hernandez will go far in life.
“He’s one of the kids who always kept a level head and always does what he is told to do,” Murillo said. “He’s going to be something big one day.”