When it comes to football, Kuadiel Gomez has perfect attendance.
"I don't think he's missed one lift since I've been here," said Wesley Chapel High football coach Ben Alford, who's entering his third season. "He's easiest the hardest working kid we have. In fact, he doesn't want to leave after being the first one here."
Alford and company turn to Gomez, the 5-foot-8, 160-pound senior cornerback, and his work ethic to pave the way for a relatively young team that looks to stay near the top in a crowded Class 5A-District 6.
"I don't always lead by speaking, but show I work hard and stay focused throughout practice," said Gomez, who had 16 tackles, three pat downs and an interception in 2011's 6-4 season. "I know if I show the underclassmen how to play the right way, then it'll show on the field. Cheering them on, to me, is always doing the right thing."
It's this fresh honesty that Alford says stands out for Gomez and has the younger players looking up to him. In fact, thanks to a 3.4 GPA, Mercer University is interested in Gomez, which does not surprise Alford.
"He just does what needs to be done -- he'll never beat around the bush," Alford said. "If there are issues, he talks to me about it and does the things you want a leader to do. He's first on the field, last to leave, does the extra work and even leads them in the right direction. … I have no doubt he will go on to play in college."
Alford adds Gomez's hard work goes to perfecting his craft, but it's always being there that makes Gomez the player he is, especially since his attendance to football is unblemished.
"I tell them I'll be there for them and always be there," Gomez said. "I also tell them that I go 100 percent at anything I do and don't miss any of my days. I would want to push everyone to their potential, which might fit my role as president. … I also just want to make it to the next level, so I know I have to work as hard as I do just to get to play college ball."