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Alma’s Gonzalez, others looking to bounce back 10/27/22

Alma’s Gonzalez, others looking to bounce back

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Alma’s talented junior class has accounted for two-thirds of the team’s offensive output this season. 


Throw in sophomore Isreal Towns-Robinson and the number gets even higher. 


Junior Carlos Gonzalez leads the pack with nine of the 25 TDs scored by underclassmen this season. He’s added to his repertoire of late with pass-receiving skills, too. 


"I'm very competitive and I have to compete every day to stay at a high level,” Gonzalez said. 


The Airedales (5-3, 2-3) travel to Dardanelle on Friday. 


The Airedales’ junior found his love for football at a younger age. His second-grade team, the Alma Rams, included current senior high teammates Jackson Daily, Ian Rhoads, and Cash Farris. 


"We were pretty good," Gonzalez said. "Jackson Daily’s dad (Adam) was one of our coaches, along with Mr. (J.D.) Coursey and Cash Farris’ dad. I remember that's where my love for football developed. They put me at running back; I got some touchdowns, and I just came on from there."


Gonzalez enters week nine with 536 yards rushing, which leads the team. He’s also rushed for six touchdowns. 


His pass-receiving skills have improved, too. Over the last three games, Gonzalez has had four receptions for 96 yards and three touchdowns. 


His first three receptions went for 11 yards. 


With the exception of quarterback Joe Trusty, the Airedales will get two backs, Gonzalez and Towns-Robinson, who have accounted for 17 touchdowns this season, including four through the air.


“If you look at the offense right now, we’ve got every skill player back,” Alma offensive coordinator Chris Smith. “We’ve got two of the best running backs that could be, in my mind, two of the best running backs in the conference. We’ve got to replace the quarterback, and that will be hard to do, but whoever we have … he’s going to have all these weapons that are really good.”


Gonzalez said he feels the love from the team’s fan base. 


"It means a lot," "A lot of people come up to me and tell me, 'My mom loves you.' That means a lot; that just makes me want to score more for the Alma Airedales and make us look good. I've been representing Alma all my life in soccer, football, and track. 


“I love exceeding and I love representing Alma."


Gonzalez sat quietly in Jennifer Woods’ kindergarten classroom a long time ago without making a peep. He said football helped bring him out of his shell. 


"I didn't really know anyone in kindergarten," Gonzalez said. "That's what football relationships do; they help you meet a lot of people."


Gonzalez is one of four siblings, he said, who follow in their parents’ work ethic. 


"My work ethic comes from my mom (Maria) and dad (Mario)," Gonzalez said. "They taught me that you can't sit there and feel sorry for yourself; you have to keep going."


Despite having another year ahead of him, Gonzalez said he’s leaning toward working in something like architecture. His dad works in construction. 


"Whatever helps my dad," he said. "I'm really looking forward to getting into architecture and working with blueprints and stuff like that."