2019’s Academic Athlete of the Year and Salutatorian

Guadalupe Lopez is this year’s graduating salutatorian, academic athlete of the year, and captain for both the girls’ water polo and swim teams. Lopez sacrificed her social time to be Salutatorian and academic athlete of the year, but does not regret being so active because it gave her the opportunity to improve her social and communication skills. Ultimately, school is her priority.

In water polo, she found it interesting how one has to learn how to communicate silently. Players have to know where everyone is and who to go to. Teamwork was essential to a good performance from both sports team, and was a great way to teach Lopez certain life lessons, such as cooperating well with others and taking responsibility for actions. Such lessons are applicable to her life outside of sports and are applied in school too. She became a leader and encouraged her team members to victory.

Her fondest memory playing water polo was when the water polo team lost against Rubidoux High School two years ago.

“We only lost by one point too. But we had a huge comeback the next time we played them. We blew them out by more than five points, and it was just so great.”

At first, she did not know much about water polo, but when her sister began playing, Lopez was encouraged to join too. She also began playing to get rid of her fear of drowning.

Playing sports had a number of positive life-long effects in Lopez’s life, namely how it promoted family cohesion. Water polo and swim has helped Lopez build a better relationship her her sister since they play the same sports, but most importantly, her mom.

“Playing sports has made my mom be there for me more because when she can, she’ll come to all my events and games. It’s more for us to talk about and bond over.”

Her mom is her role model.

“My dad passed away when I was four. She was pregnant with my brother and she was able to get through that while still raising us. Over the course of time, my mom did find someone, and had my two younger brothers. She ended having problems with that relationship, basically raised us all by herself, and has managed to raise us all pretty-well.”

Lopez’s personal goal for water polo was to get the first all-league patch, which she received this year. For swim, it was to break her own personal record because she struggled so much to even break a PR. She also accomplished that goal and broke her own record by 20 seconds. Her goal in school was to earn straight A’s throughout all four years of high school. Not only did she do that, but she is also salutatorian and was awarded academic athlete of the year.

“I did not expect to have accomplished any of these goals, but I did!” She offered some advice. “In order to be where you want to be, work hard to follow your dreams,” she said. “You may think it’s impossible, but the possibilities are endless; just work hard.”

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