If being a student-athlete was easy, everyone would be one. Juggling school work with practice and traveling is hard. Cathedral City High School senior Juan Navarro has overcome ineligibility and an injury to now be a captain and star player to take our Pete Carlson’s Athlete of the Week.
Cathedral City High School senior Juan Navarro has always been a top baseball player. Grades and an injury quickly changed that.
“My freshman and sophomore year I just slacked it. Just being on the baseball team I thought I was like a big dog. I just didn’t really care but once I saw I couldn’t play, I knew I had to change it,” Navarro explained.
Then came along Cathedral City High School head baseball coach Chris Lugo.
“He struggled academically,” Lugo said. “He had some issues in the classroom and was ineligible his first two years. I took over his junior year. He made such an improvement and had a desire to want to be better.”
Navarro became eligible his junior year but was then hit with adversity once again.
“He suffered a really bad injury this preseason,” Coach Lugo said.
“I dislocated my knee cap and was out for two months,” Navarro explained.
After fighting hard through rehab, Navarro made an epic comeback.
“Monday’s game was his first game back and he went two for three,” Coach Lugo said.
“I got an RBI. It just felt good to be back on the field. I don’t know, I’m just lost for words. My first game back and we got our first league win over rival Palm Springs. It just feels great.
“It was amazing for me to see him go through that transformation,” Coach Lugo said. “He’s just truly a great kid.”