Aussie aspirations: Moffat County football player seeking donations for international sports program
April 19, 2018
You could say Moffat County High School athlete Alex Nevarez was in a bit of a rush throughout the football season, but now he's looking to beat another clock.
Nevarez is raising funds to participate in the 2018 Down Under Sports football tournament, a program that will take him to play the sport in Australia this June.
Down Under Sports is an organization based in Utah that provides high school athletes across the United States the opportunity to travel to locations like Australia and New Zealand to compete in basketball, cross country, golf, volleyball and track and field.
Football is also part of the program, though American players are also introduced to more international sports like rugby as part of the immersion in another country.
Teams also go by Aussie names like the Kangaroos, Kookaburras and Dingoes.
Nevarez was selected to represent Colorado following his performance as a running back in the past fall's season at MCHS, a shuffle in positions surprising no one more than himself.
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"My junior year I was a wide receiver and a safety and played more defense. This year, one of our running backs got hurt, so I went in and played more of the season, and I guess I did pretty good," he said. "I had to relearn the whole playbook, and it was a good achievement and good to know the team relied on me."
He added that though he had little bulk compared to other backs, he worked with what he had physically.
"All I had was a lot of speed and a lot of heart," he said.
Nevarez led the team in rushing with 404 yards on 76 carries, as well as 10 catches for 146 yards, scoring four touchdowns altogether, as well as four of the team's two-point conversions. He was also their most frequent kick returner with 194 yards and even punted on occasion.
His speed came in handy during multiple fake punt attempts late in the season against Basalt when trying to kick into gale-force winds that turned into snow.
"That Basalt game was brutal. Big kids, big team, and the weather took a beat on us," he said.
He is also seeking to continue the pigskin path, hopefully at Colorado Mesa University or Adams State.
"I'm really hoping this can help me to get into college ball," he said.
The cost for travel in Down Under Sports is $5,000, of which Nevarez has raised about $1,500. The additional $3,500 he's hoping to raise online or through the community, looking to set up activities like a car wash.
"A lot of businesses have already helped, and anything helps, really, 20 or 30 dollars here or there, I'd really appreciate it," he said.
Nevarez’s GoFundMe page is available at https://www.gofundme.com/downunder-sports-football-rb. For more information, visit downundersports.com.
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