Lopez makes most of last chance
Emerson blocking specialist gets opportunity to shine in Thanksgiving Day rivalry
For two full years, Ludwin Lopez played the role of the dutiful servant on the Emerson High School football team. Lopez did everything he was asked to do, handling all the grunge duties. Lopez played tight end and blocking back, lining up to knock the stuffing out of the opponents, without getting much of the glory.
The Hudson Reporter Athlete of the Week for the last week. Lopez is the final honoree for the fall scholastic sports season.
Emerson now holds a 39-37-9 edge in the long-standing series.
The Bulldogs were trailing 16-8 before Lopez lit the fire under the Bulldogs with a 36-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
“He was focused and determined,” Marinez said. “I could tell that Ludwin was going to have a good game. We were all spent after the Morristown game and only had two days of practice. But Ludwin lifted us up and that first touchdown run got us going.”
Lopez then added a 35-yard touchdown run later in the second quarter and caught the 63-yard pass from Vasquez, giving the Bulldogs a 35-16 halftime lead.
“Ludwin was put there at tight end and H-back strictly to block,” Marinez said. “So he deserves to have a game like this. He played tight end all last year and most of this year, he was a tight end and wide receiver. But he runs every play at practice very hard. He truly deserved this.”
Marinez couldn’t say enough about Lopez’ contributions to the team. Emerson finished the season with a 7-3-1 record. “Ludwin was our best weight room kid,” Marinez said. “He was there all the time. He was also the kind of practice player who made everyone work harder through example. He wasn’t just a rah-rah type. If someone didn’t step up and perform, Ludwin would let you know. He was just so intense, jacked all the time. It makes you happy when a kid performs like this. At times, he was tough to get along with, because of his intensity and inner-city attitude. But when he said, ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘No, sir,’ he meant it.” Lopez said that he didn’t feel vindicated by finally getting his chance to carry the ball and doing so well. In fact, only one thing still dominated his thoughts. “I wanted to win a championship and we didn’t get it,” Lopez said. “That’s what I really wanted. Sure, this was my best game and my chance to prove myself, but proving it now is a little late.” Lopez is hopeful to play football in college. He hasn’t made a decision yet and just began to discuss his future with the high school guidance counselors last week. But chances are, if he’s given the chance, Lopez is the kind of workhorse who would be an asset to any college team. All he needs is a chance. He proved that Thanksgiving Day.