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SuHi's Venegas tabbed as Holiday Bowl's most inspirational high school football player Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 30 2011 12:56 PM

Throughout the 2011 high school football season, San Diego Section coaches and fans were encouraged to nominate the most inspirational players in the county for the Dr. Pepper TEN Most Inspirational Player Award in conjunction with the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl.

Sweetwater High School senior Luis Venegas received the award Wednesday in front of a crowd in excess of 56,000 at Qualcomm Stadium.

Venegas’ story is truly an inspirational one. His father was deported when the future Red Devil pigskin standout was 11. His mother is disabled and cannot work. Despite these rather huge obstacles, Venegas never lost hope — nor his faith — that he would succeed.

He is the second youngest of four children, and the first one with the drive to succeed, according to a press release announcing his award.

Venegas is defined by his determination to attend college, and has found education to be his gateway to success.

 “I have the obligation to prove it is possible to succeed – for me, for my family and for all the people who have invested their time in me,” he said.

Venegas has been recognized with many academic and athletic honors, including a spot on the All-Metro-Pacific League first team defense.

Though many nominations were submitted with extremely inspirational stories from around the county, Venegas was the clear front-runner to win the award, according to judges.

This is the third year the bowl game has presented the most inspirational program.

“We are proud to continue sponsoring this meaningful award,” said Mike Utke, Dr. Pepper division manager. “It’s rewarding for us to partner with the bowl game and recognize student-athletes who contribute in ways that don’t necessarily show up in the stat book. Luis is a most deserving recipient.”

For more details, visit www.BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com.

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