Lagunas Tough On And Off Field


Kat Schilling

Arturo Lagunas runs onto the field during Highland’s senior night.

Matthew Lloyd, Staff Writer

Highland football head coach Brody Benson is very strict when it comes to missing practice. It’s a simple policy; if you miss practice, you miss the game.
That’s why it was so confusing to see senior captain Arturo Lagunas missing practice on Monday.
While missing practice may jeopardize his playing time, staying at practice might jeopardize his family. Lagunas’ father had a heart attack last year and as a result he now deals with a heart condition and high blood pressure. His father’s conditions have forced him to spend time in the hospital. However, Arturo’s father does not speak fluent English, so Lagunas’ has to go with him to translate the conversations between his father and the doctor.
Coach Benson preaches the importance of family and validates the reason for his absences from practice and instead looks for things that can help.
“How can we as a team and a family support him the best way to make sure that he is still able to do the things that he wants to do,” Benson said.
For Lagunas, this isn’t the only thing that’s kept him from being on the field. Lagunas has had some medical issues of his own.
Last season, he sprained his meniscus and forced him to miss multiple games. Although he was in a rough position with being hurt, he was able to look at the glass half full and do everything in his power to help his team.
“The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Arturo is he’s mentally tough,” Benson said.
Missing multiple games of his junior season due to his knee injury forced him to play a completely different role on the team; from being a starter to being a waterbody and getting the starters water. It was tough for Lagunas, however he was able to use the circumstance that he was placed in to give him a different perspective of the game and the team. Coming back he was able to share the things that he learned and put them to good use and making sure the negative things he observed would not come back to hurt the team.
“Arturo gave great insight on what he observed from this football team and how there was a definite lack of leadership and a lack of accountability and he didn’t want to let his team down and have that same experience as last year.”
Sitting out was difficult for Lagunas, but watching from the sideline taught him what it really meant to be a leader.
“It helped me observe more and helped me become a better leader I saw a lot of selfishness on the team and it taught me not to be that way and get others to act the right way,” Lagunas said.
Not only has Lagunas been a great leader and captain of the Highland football team, but he is a leader around the school. Lagunas has put to use the principles that were taught by Benson and the Highland football program now that he is the Student Body Secretary.
In return, being the SBO secretary has given him an opportunity to branch outside of the football team, helping him use skills that he learned to help him stay on top of all of the work that is put on his plate in the classroom and outside of it.
“I use what I do as an SBO to make sure that I plan out my schedule so that I can stay on top of things and get everything done that I need to do,” Lagunas said.
Looking back, Lagunas has been faced with a lot of difficult situations and has been able to handle them.
Moving forward no matter what is thrown his way, it is clear that Lagunas will not let adversity stop him.
“There’s a whole lot of good that can come out of bad situations if you take that information and put it to good use,” Benson said.
Lagunas is proving that hard work will conquer hard luck.