Junior quarterback Brian Guerrero enjoys playing video games and surfing in his spare time. Guerrero has guided ULV to a 3-3 overall record and leads the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 1,626 yards passing and is second with 14 touchdowns.
A leader, hard worker and a good friend. These qualities best describe junior quarterback Brian Guerrero.
Guerrero began playing organized football at age seven for the West Covina Bruins. He started off his career as an offensive lineman and later developed into a quarterback.
“I remember my coach said if anyone wants to play quarterback get in this line, so I got in that line,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero grew up in West Covina and attended Edgewood Middle School and later played his high school ball at West Covina High School.
On numerous occasions Guerrero made it on the All-Mt. San Antonio League team and led the Bulldogs to many come from behind wins and playoff appearances.
As his high school career ended, Guerrero was planning on attending Sacramento State as a preferred walk-on that would red-shirt his freshman year.
“I remember being in the hotel with my parents,” Guerrero said. “My mom was reading me like a book and she immediately knew that I didn’t like it up there.”
As he and his family sat in the hotel, Guerrero made the call to La Verne.
“I always considered La Verne because my sister graduated from here,” Guerrero said. “I really didn’t think about any other school but La Verne.”
When Guerrero arrived to La Verne, he was second on the depth chart to Jason Winn, a transfer from Texas Tech University.
“Watching him play was a good experience,” Guerrero said. “He taught me to be level headed when things get tough on the field.”
A year later, Guerrero received the starting quarterback job and helped improve the Leopards record to 4-5, passing for 1,938 yards with 15 touchdowns and making first team All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Confe-rence.
Even after Guerrero helped improve the Leopards offense and record, he still faced criticism and doubts from his peers about his playing ability.
“Words are words, words don’t bother me,” Guerrero said. “People are going to have their opinions, you just have to brush them off.”
Guerrero has started where he left off last season by leading the SCIAC in passing with 1,626 yards and is second in touchdowns with 14. Guerrero has completed 57 percent of his passes and has thrown only eight interceptions
“Brian has a special bond with each receiver,” senior wide ?receiver Roger Logan said. “He knows how each player runs, where they like the ball to be thrown and how they run their routes. That’s what makes him good quarterback.”
In the beginning of the season, Guerrero’s pride and confidence were tested when he was pulled in the first game against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens after to three consecutive bad drives.
“I took it as a learning opportunity,” Guerrero said. “I had a chance to see everything that was happening on the field.”
Shortly after, Guerrero returned to the game and looked more efficient on several offensive plays. One of the plays was a 34-yard pass to tight end Leandre Allen.
Guerrero’s father raised him on the philosophy that you can never get down on yourself.
He always explained to him that you cannot always look at things as confidence breakers, but instead take them as learning experiences.
No one understands the importance of Guerrero to his football team more than his players, especially head coach Don Morel.
“Brian faces more pressure then anyone on our football team,” Morel said. “If Brian plays well we win, if he plays bad we lose.”
The impact is obvious. In three ULV victories this year, Guerrero has thrown for 1,009 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception.
In three ULV losses, Guerrero has thrown for 817 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Guerrero is currently a business major and has no intentions of pursuing a professional football career.
“I’m a realist,” said Guerrero. “People who play on that level are a special breed.”
He has considered entering the banking field but is unsure of his plans after college.
Guerrero hopes to help the Leopards win their first SCIAC championship in 10 years and lead them to a playoff appearance.
The Leopards currently hold a 3-3 overall record along with a 2-2 record in conference play.
ULV will enjoy a much needed bye this week but will continue action next Saturday in a non-conference match up against Chapman University at 1 p.m. at Ortmayer Stadium in La Verne.
Darnell Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com.