SAN ANTONIO – Jaycob Sifuentes is no ordinary senior at South San Antonio High School, as his academic career has been a constant juggle between performing as a student athlete and hitting the books. He says his academic success started with his triumphs in football.
My freshman year was a good year, I played one freshman game, and then went up to JV,” Sifuentes said.
Sifuentes played varsity for three consecutive years, and it’s been football that’s really helped keep him focused and determined both on and off the field.
“It’s a very good experience to have sports, not just football, but any sport -- track, basketball, any of those, it’s really good I think for all the students that are in it because it helps, having that guide of the coach guide you like a father figure, and it’s a very good thing,” Sifuentes said.
He said one of his biggest challenges has been learning to balance his time between athletics and academics, and the pandemic didn’t exactly make things easier.
“It was a lot to handle mentally too, but yea when school opened up again, Thank God it did, I was able to come in and get some help from the teachers and tutors. I was able to get my grades up to where I wanted them to be,” Sifuentes said.
Sifuentes never threw in the towel. Instead, he worked harder, and that hard work has paid off. He’s been chosen to play in this year’s All-Star football game and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Dawn Thomas, one of Sifuentes’ teachers and the NHS advisor, said he’s an excellent illustration of a student who exemplifies the qualities of NHS, and is humble, with admirable character.
“Jaycob himself had completed over 200 service hours his senior year of high school and our requirement was only 50 because of COVID, because of the limitations they put on. So he just really went above and beyond. He’s always offered to help, he’s done whatever for his school, for his community and he’s always given back,” Thomas said.
Jaycob has been accepted to Texas State University and plans to major in biology, with the goal of attending dental school.
“There’s a saying that my coach would say, he says ‘you weren’t born a winner and you weren’t born a loser, you’re born a chooser,’ so I think his words have really helped the choices I’ve made,” Sifuentes said.