Sumner High School senior nose guard Victor Padilla is on a mission to prove size isn’t anything but a number.
Padilla, a stout 5-foot-8, 202 pounds, isn’t as big as the offensive linemen he goes against, but it hasn’t stopped him yet. Spartans head coach Keith Ross said he’s the kind of player he wants at the position.
“Padilla is just unblockable,” Ross said during an August practice. “He has the greatest motor I have ever seen.”
The only thing that has stopped Padilla lately is a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He suffered the injury when Sumner played Franklin Pierce earlier this month.
Padilla played just a few snaps against Orting in Week 6 and missed the following week’s contest against the Washington Patriots. He plans to return to the starting lineup this Friday for Sumner’s showdown with the Fife Trojans.
Padilla said he utilizes his quickness and speed against his opponents.
“I’m a lot quicker than a lot of the bigger offensive linemen,” he said. “That makes it easier for me to get off blocks and chase the ball carriers down.
“Playing nose guard is a lot of fun. You are always getting double-teamed by the guard and the center, which makes it a tough position. A lot of offensive linemen try to cut block me to take away my speed.”
Padilla said he’s thrilled the Spartans are 7-0 overall, but he won’t be satisfied unless they achieve the ultimate prize.
“We want to go all the way,” he said. “First we have to be (SPSL 2A) league champs. We are defending that title. From there, we just want to be the best we can.”
The Herald recently asked Padilla a few questions about his life away from the football field.
The Herald: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Victor Padilla: “The Blind Side.” It’s very inspirational. I love football movies.
TH: What is your biggest pet peeve?
VP: When people playing sports are trying to talk trash.
TH: Who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?
VP: The Seattle Seahawks. That’s my favorite team. They’ve always been my favorite team.
TH: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
VP: I play the piano.
TH: Where is your dream vacation spot?
VP: Barcelona. It is a very beautiful place. I have seen a lot of pictures.
TH: What is your favorite eatery in Sumner?
VP: Farrelli’s. They have very good pizza.
TH: What is your favorite hobby away from football?
VP: Wrestling. I wrestle in the 182-pound weight class.