There are times when high schools sports, particularly football, can be blinded by the pettiness of school pride and rivalries. Sunday is not one of those times. It will, in fact, show the good side of competition when Bishop Amat pays homage to one of its own – defensive lineman Paul Reyna, who died 10 years ago this weekend from injuries suffered in a preseason practice during his freshman year at Boise State. Reyna will be remembered in a memorial service scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bishop Amat Carroll Center.
Friends, former teammates and coaches are expected to attend. A video presentation also will be shown.
“I’m very touched by the idea that they wanted to do this for him,” said Reyna’s mother, Carolyn Gusman. “You think you are the only one affected. (But) to see an outpouring of interest and (people) asking ahead of time … we’ll we see how it turns out (Sunday).
“It’s really been difficult to believe that it has been 10 years. I can still look out at the field and still picture him there. I have to thank (Bishop Amat president Msgr. Aidan M.) Carroll. He’s been a real rock. I feel very privileged and honored to be associated with the Amat program. This is the best therapy anyone can have, to have this support system.”
Reyna was a former football standout and basketball player at Bishop Amat during the late 1990s. He was All-Del Rey League and All-Area in football and earned an athletic
scholarship to Boise State.
He died on Aug. 23, 1999 from injuries suffered in preseason practice.
Gusman still is part of the Bishop Amat program and shows her dedication as a game-day volunteer.
“I was going to give it up after he left Amat, but it asked me to keep doing it because it was important to him,” said Gusman, who works the pass gate at Kiefer Stadium on game nights. “It’s difficult, it’s hard, but it’s what he loved.
“I can’t watch the games anymore, but I love being around the boys, the program. This is a difficult time for me, being around the fall, the football season, but it helps to be around the school.”
The memorial is open to the public. More information can be found at bishopamat.org.
(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2296