Playing for his dream: Meet Colby Ceniza Ceniza continues the family tradition of playing football

He stands at six foot, 165 pounds. Number 21 runs as he swats down the football and tackles the opposing receiver, a job he has to do as the starting cornerback for the Sierra Vista Mountain Lions varsity football team. When called upon, this player also catches the football as the wide receiver.

His name is Colby Ceniza, a senior in the Respiratory Therapy program. His passion for the game of football is what pushes this athlete to progress his talent and skills beyond the high school level.

“Just being able to escape and play a game that I love is what I love best about football. I get to be free from school,” Ceniza said.

Although Ceniza is now in his third season playing varsity football at Sierra Vista High School, his roots for playing and loving the game date back to when he was seven years old, starting in the Las Vegas Pop Warner leagues. In fact, playing football is a tradition for the Ceniza family.

“Growing up I’d watch my older brother make it to a division one college. So ever since then, I have been playing football,” Ceniza said.

Playing a sport has its trials and tribulations, but Ceniza feels that he has not gone through many challenges competing in football. While it’s been tough adjusting to new levels of play as he moves up the ranks, the biggest issue he’s had to face is attending a school that does not offer the sport. Consequently, this has forced him to realize the responsibility of balancing academics and the game.

“It’s just the sacrifice you have to make to play sports. In my sophomore year, I missed some games because I was ineligible academically,” Ceniza said. “It’s something you have to balance because nobody forced me to play, so it’s my responsibility to keep up my academics.”

Heading into his senior year of play also means it is the year for Ceniza to impress the college scouts that come to the games and see if he is worthy of being offered a scholarship. Playing football in college is a dream for him, and has spent his summer going to practices.

“I’d like to play in college, which is really dependent on my senior year. I’d love for a division one scholarship, but if I got one from division two, I would still go,” Ceniza said. “I’ve learned from my older brother that I can’t be too indecisive. If I’m lucky enough to get any offers, I’d still go.”

While he is not the team captain, he still tries to help lead his team members by example.

“Ceniza Ceniza is a great athlete and guy. He helps Sierra Vista by teaching younger players how to play their positions better in order to win games,” junior and fellow teammate Armand Faccinto said.

When it is all said and done, with working his way up to varsity and goals of furthering his career, it is all about the memories for Ceniza. Football has taught him many fundamentals and the camaraderie the game brings, which has led to many unforgettable bonds and friendships. But what he really enjoys is the memories the game has given him.

“I have two memories in my time in varsity so far. The first one is the Spring Valley game my sophomore year and was our last game of the season. I got my first interception and I thought it really showed my growth as a player,” Ceniza said. “The second one is the Desert Oasis game from junior year. We won and it was the first time any Vista team has ever beaten Desert Oasis and I had two interceptions that game.”

Hopefully, Ceniza will have the opportunity to further his career playing the game he truly loves and creating more memories.

“It would be a dream come true. I would be able to play a sport I’m passionate about , while getting my education paid for with a scholarship,” Ceniza said.