BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — “A-B is the G.O.A.T. Number nine is the G.O.A.T,” Julian Smith shouted as the Garces Memorial Rams walked into the locker room at the half of their first game of the 2021 spring season.
The G.O.A.T, or the greatest of all time, is a title that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s a term Smith feels his teammate Abraham Gonzalez deserves. How he got that title requires some backtracking.
When high school sports returned in February, it was a big relief for many student-athletes. Including Garces Memorial senior Abraham Gonzalez.
“ The passion has always been there since I was a kid but after quarantine, the want for sports in me has improved,” Gonzalez said. “I was always being busy with sports is something I’ve been doing my whole entire life, so it feels natural.”
After more than a year since the shutdown, Abraham opened the 2021 high school sports season with cross country. And being back with his team was a good feeling.
“It felt normal with teammates around me being like family and then me playing with them all four years basically it's, it's, it's been something that I'll remember forever,” Gonzalez said.
But this season that time with his ram family grew. A lot.
“Every day it's at least doing three practices a day,” Gonzalez said.
As a multi-sport athlete, A.B. is competing in not just two, nor three, but four sports at once. Five total on the year.
“This year I decided to do cross country, soccer, baseball, track and football,” Gonzalez said.
As they say, ‘no rest for the wicked.’ Especially for a five-sport athlete.
“I usually hit in the cages for baseball for like 30 minutes or so and then I come off to track. Come out here, as, as long as I can until I go to football for special teams which is usually at the end of practice and then after that I go soccer from 5:30 to around seven, that's that happens every day,” Gonzalez said.
A kicker in any sport is used to staying balanced, but balancing a crazy schedule probably wasn’t the initial goal. But, he’s exceeding in more ways than one.
In his first varsity football season, Gonzalez kicked the longest field goal in school history at 52 yards.
“Kicking that field goal to set the record it just made me grateful for all the hard work and effort I've put into it,” Gonzalez said.
Not bad for a senior who didn’t expect he’d even be able to return to any field before graduating. Now he’s playing on three. And Abraham is not doing all this work for himself.
“The support coming from my family, coaches and teammates has boosted my confidence in everything I do,” Gonzalez said.
So while his teammates may refer to him as the G.O.A.T, that title, from Abraham’s perspective, may be reserved for mom.
“My mom is like there, every single sport and now I'm like, I'm so grateful because I understand that how much she works, she still supports me and all my brothers and I just want to say thank you to her.”
While Abraham says soccer and baseball are his favorite sports, playing football this season has opened his mind to pursue it at the next level.
But as you can expect, he’s open to whatever opportunity comes his way.