Athlete of the Month: Dimaggio Rico

Athlete+of+the+Month%3A+Dimaggio+Rico

Emily Kim , Asst. Sports Editor

With half of the season left in his final year playing football for Diamond Bar High School, Dimaggio Rico has already run 727 yards and scored 13 touchdowns in six games.

Rico’s current accomplishments this season, like his average 8.2 per carry, has put him first in the league for scoring and second for rushing.

Rico developed an interest in football after watching games on television and being encouraged by his father to try the sport. He started as a seven-year-old playing running back and corner for the Chino Hills Bulldogs.

Hearing about his father’s experiences playing football in high school inspired Rico to continue playing.

“I wanted to experience [football] for my own and make my own name,” Rico said.

Rico played as both corner and running back during his sophomore and junior year and he was the starting cornerback in his junior year.

This year, Rico is no longer corner and has instead took on the role of featured running back of the team. To him, the change was not drastic because he lined up as running back for a few snaps last season. However, this year he has become a key part of the varsity team, rushing for over 100 yards per game in his new position.

Rico gives credit to senior offensive lineman Blake Goodman for opening up holes and clearing the way to allow him to run through the defense. Reading what the offensive line does is another key aspect of scoring touchdowns.

“I just have to thank my line for that because they really help out a lot and give me big holes so I can make touchdowns and we can win the game,” Rico said.

Despite Rico’s many achievements, one of greatest accomplishments would be earning the Coach’s Award last year. He received the award for always supporting the team and doing what he needed, whether it was practicing or playing his best in a game, regardless of the circumstances.

“He started the [last] year off as a starter and then he ended up losing his starting position. but he still practiced hard,” head coach Marcus Hughes said. “He exemplified what we want in all of our athletes to just work hard every day.”

For Rico, one of his greatest in-game accomplishments was scoring the fifth touchdown of the Branding Iron game.

“I tied for most scores in a game with Tyler Brown [the Brahma running back who graduated in May] and it was against Walnut so that was a plus too,” Rico said.

Rico’s main goal for the future is to join the Los Angeles Police Department and land a spot on the SWAT unit. He plans on continuing to play football by being a part of the LAPD team. The LAPD has its own football team similar to a NFL semi-pro league, traveling around the United States and playing other departments.

“Football is a second family and I know a lot of kids that don’t have that strong connection with their own family,” Rico said.