CHARACTER COUNTS NOMINATIONS

Trevor G. Browne QB Alex Rivera uses drive to find athletic and academic success

Nov 23, 2021, 5:02 AM
(Photo courtesy of Olivia Rivera)...
(Photo courtesy of Olivia Rivera)
(Photo courtesy of Olivia Rivera)

Balancing passion and discipline, 17-year-old Trevor G. Browne High School senior Alex Rivera has remained on the path he created for himself.

Football and academics have dominated Rivera’s high school life, and he has accomplished a lot on both fronts.

In the senior’s final season on the high school field, he led Trevor G. Browne to its first winning record since 2009.

He earned 2021 6A Desert Southwest All-Region First Team honors as his team’s starting quarterback and was nominated for the Ed Doherty Award, a high school football player of the year achievement.

Off the field, Rivera has managed to keep his grades up with a 4.44 GPA, which is 16th in his senior class, according to his mother, Olivia.

“He’s just really driven. He keeps that work ethic up with school, even though he knows he’s got football,” Olivia said.

Rivera’s successes have not come without overcoming adversity.

Having to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a high school athlete brought complications, which led to a transfer from Cesar Chavez High School to Browne.

“COVID, it really did cut down the season to three games from the original 10 games and … and then just I wasn’t given the opportunity I believe I should’ve had as far as playing quarterback,” Rivera said. “Not only did I transfer out, but there’s about 20-25 other kids that transferred out after those three games.”

He transferred to Trevor G. Browne for its academics and to join a rising football program helmed by a young coach, Francisco Rangel.

He did not step into the starting role, though. He had to earn it.

“I had to earn the coaches’ respects, show up every day, show up on time, show that leadership,” Rivera said. “The best thing about it, too, is creating relationships early, meeting new people. At first, it’s new and different … Now, going back months later, it’s like a brotherhood.”

Previous season-ending injuries in back-to-back years during middle school threatened the quarterback’s football future. He suffered a broken collarbone and then a hairline fracture of his sternum bone.

Rivera admits to questioning if he should remain in the sport since he kept getting injured, but he never lost interest in it.

When he was ready to play again, he led his Pop Warner team in eighth grade to the national championship tournament at Disney World.

Rivera adheres to the “trust the process” philosophy, which he uses to stay focused “on the road” regardless of hardships. That’s helped him not just with sports but studies.

Schoolwork is still a major priority for Rivera.

Trevor G. Browne has an advisory period, a fourth period as Rivera described it, to get homework done. Rivera uses that time and his study hall to make sure he’s on top of everything before practice starts.

He admitted it can be challenging to balance school and football, but his results show his commitment.

“We work around different things, different methods to make sure that he stays successful, both in school and he’s getting the proper rest for football,” Rivera’s father, Alex, said. “He’s just really driven, has a lot of discipline and we’re really excited that he’s got that kind of drive.”

While the football season is over, Rivera is not done competing. He will continue to do so at DECA events, which prepare students in marketing, finance, hospitality and management, according to its website.

His marketing teacher at Trevor G. Browne recommended the program to Rivera when he transferred schools, and it has taught him a lot of business skills for the future.

character counts

Character Counts is a registered trademark of the Josephson Institute.

Character Counts Nominations

Follow @AZSports...
Character Counts

8th grader maintained school activities through virtual COVID-19 setting

Life in school has been wildly different for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. It didn't stop Hanna Macias during her eighth-grade year.
4 months ago
Follow @AZSports...
Character Counts

Mountain Ridge’s Tegan Bernard helps individuals find strength

Mountain Ridge High School's Tegan Bernard knows that not everyone can be mentored or helped in the same way.
4 months ago
(Photo courtesy Ashley Martin)...
Character Counts

Apache Junction High School’s Shantel Ortiz wants to give everyone a fair chance

Like most kids her age, Shantel Ortiz knows that her future plans can change. Job opportunities and educational goals evolve.
5 months ago
(Photo via: Kilan White)...
Character Counts

Barry Goldwater’s Kilan White uses experiences for philanthropic purpose

Most young men struggle to balance the difficult challenge of every day life, but Kilan White is not like most young men.
5 months ago
Scottsdale Prep senior Jay Robertson. (Jay Robertson Photo)...
Character Counts

Scottsdale Prep senior Jay Robertson combines nature and nurture

There are two things 17-year-old Scottsdale Prep senior Jay Robertson loves most in this world: nature and helping people.
6 months ago
Javier Garcia (Photo Courtesy/Britni Garcia)...
Character Counts

Gilbert senior Javier Garcia gives back with his passion for running

Gilbert high senior Javier Garcia has taken their cross country and track teams to new heights, all while holding his own in the classroom.
6 months ago
Trevor G. Browne QB Alex Rivera uses drive to find athletic and academic success