By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
MONROVIA – Christian Blanco’s football career started seven years ago as a fifth-grade student at Monroe Elementary School.
The senior running back from Monrovia High School wasn’t carrying a football, much less wearing pads or cleats.
In fact, he wasn’t even on a football field.
He was racing his friend Davonte Walls in the 100-meter dash. Walls lost that day, but went home to tell his dad, Donell, about the race.
Blanco’s come a long way since, and become another weapon in the long list of weapons Monrovia will use against Whittier Christian on Saturday night at 7:30 in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division championship game at Arcadia High School.
“He (Davonte) came up to me and said, `Hey, dad, I really want you to meet my friend,’ ” recalled Donell, who works security at Monrovia and has served as head coach for the Wildcats freshman football team.
“I saw him (Blanco) race again and I thought he was pretty fast for his size. I encouraged him to play football, and he did.”
It wasn’t long before Blanco signed up to play for the Duarte Falcons. He wasn’t a stranger at Monrovia, where his older brothers Genaro and Rigo wrestled and played soccer.
Blanco grew up attending Monrovia football games and was in awe of star running back Adam Gabriel, who was heavily recruited by Wisconsin, Colorado and USC before signing with Colorado State. Blanco vowed to one day play running back.
“Since I was a little kid I wanted to play running back at this school,” Blanco recalled.
“So I did my best to work as hard as I could to get and run you over.”
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