The Warren Athletic Department is proud to announce the first two spring sport Athletes of the Week: Christian Crosbie (Boys’ Tennis) and David Gutierrez (Boys’ Golf). These remarkable young men both excel in the classroom and in their respective sports. Both students are competing at a high level while also challenging themselves in the most rigorous honors and AP courses. Crosbie is nearing the end of his senior year. He is currently ranked 6th in the graduating class of 2019, and he is wrapping up his third season on the Varsity Tennis Team. Gutierrez is well underway in his junior season with the Varsity Golf Team, and he is leading his team to a dominant season thus far.
Christian Crosbie is a motivated young man in every aspect of his life–academics and athletics. When he originally joined the Tennis Team, he thought it might be a fun activity. Prior to high school, he had enjoyed playing tennis as a recreational sport. Once he joined the high school Tennis Team, he became completely “infatuated with the sport.” He strives to be the best at the things he loves to do, and tennis is one of those endeavors. The love he has developed for the sport while playing with the high school team has inspired him to want to continue to play in college. He has amassed a very successful career during his tenure at Warren High School. This year alone, some of the highlights include defeating Gahr (for the first time since 2015). Every win is critical, but this victory carries immense weight because it is a true testament to the hard work and dedication the entire time has invested into their games. This is a reflection of the vast improvement the team has made, losing pretty handily in his first three years with the program. Crosbie is truly proud of the dedication and determination that each of his teammates have exemplified. The team is undefeated in league thus far, and he is so impressed by the commitment to the craft that each teammate has shown. As a unit, their motivation and dedication is unparalleled. Crosbie has fond memories that date back well beyond his senior season. As a sophomore, he and his doubles partner (Robert) became known as the “tiebreakers” because seemingly every game was forced to conclude in a tiebreak. Their most memorable victories, like a 13-11 win over Schurr, wrapped up in a tiebreak. He is also incredibly proud of some of his toughest matches, like his victory over the #1 singles player from Downey during his junior season, when he upset their top player with a 6-3 win. It was during this victory that Crosbie began playing at another level–a heightened version of tennis that he had yet to attain until he was challenged by the best. These tough contests do not always end in wins, but he has learned a lot from each challenge. This year, Warren lost to La Serna 9-9 (75-87 in games), but Crosbie was incredibly proud of the fight the team displayed because they had fallen to La Serna 4-14 in the previous season (2018). As evidenced by all of his responses, Crosbie takes immense pride in improvement and progress. The win over Downey as a junior was sweetened by the fact that Warren had lost in such devastating fashion the previous two seasons. All of this improvement has not come without obstacles. There was a coaching shift at the start of Crosbie’s junior season. Working with a new coach forced the athletes to adapt to a new style, new philosophy, and new training regimen. Through these changes, the team had to keep themselves motivated and inspire one another to try to perfect their games. As Crosbie thinks about the fact that he is more than halfway through his senior season, he reminisces about what he will miss most. Simply stated, “The feeling of competing for Warren.” There is the possibility that he will play in college, but he is cognizant of the fact that there is nothing that will compare to high school tennis. It was through high school tennis that Crosbie really developed his love for the sport. There is a “nostalgic feeling” that floods him as he considers the fact that each time he plays could be his last time. Warren High School will always be home to the place at which he left his lasting footprint. It’s a hard reality to know that he will be leaving behind his teammates, leaving behind the underclassmen. He won’t get to see their continued progression; he won’t be present every day to inspire and motivate. That being said, he still has goals for which he needs to keep himself motivated–ideally, nothing less than the team CIF Championship for Division 4. He knows that he and his teammates are willing to put in the extra hours to attain that goal. They want to boast an undefeated season in league play, which would be the first time in four years. Crosbie believes that it would be the perfect way to pay homage to the last CIF championship team, to be able to put another banner in the Warren gym as his final mark on this campus. For Crosbie, high school tennis has been more than merely a sport. It is through his athletic experiences that he has witnessed firsthand the rewards that result from the effort he puts into things. “It makes you want to work harder and accept your mistakes. Instead of finding excuses for yourself, you accept/own your mistakes and try to improve yourself.” Crosbie is always trying to make himself a better version of himself than he was the day before. There’s also the mere fact that high school was more fun because of tennis. If he could give advice to those underclassmen who have looked up to him, he would tell them to never give up. “No matter how many losses you take, no matter how many shots don’t fall your way, you have to keep practicing to better yourself.” He also reminds everyone that confidence is key; don’t be timid–play with the skill and the confidence that you know you have. “Don’t redirect the blame; own your mistakes. Use your mistakes to learn and grow.” Finally, Crosbie focuses on the intrinsic love he possesses for the game. “If you love the sport, don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from performing in the sport that you love!”
David Gutierrez has been playing golf “ever since [he] was able to hold a club.” He chose to play golf in high school, giving up other sports (baseball and soccer) in order to focus on his golf game. There is a sense of hardship in golf that always keeps him coming back eager to improve. Gutierrez began taking the game seriously at around the age of 12, and that passion has only intensified since entering into high school. He was initially nervous when he began high school competition, but now he has become a leader on the team–taking pride in teaching the freshmen who may be experiencing the same apprehension that he once felt. He has an unparalleled commitment to the sport, vowing to himself to never take a day off. Gutierrez has experienced tremendous success in high school golf. One of his greatest triumphs was his tournament at the early part of the season in which he finished 3rd in his flight. He is currently helping the team earn a 2-0 start in league. He believes that the team is looking good this season, and he has high aspirations for the unit. Gutierrez is also boasting his best season thus far, shooting 1 over or even every round. He aims to keep his game consistent. He also wants to serve as a leader and role model for his teammates, taking pride in leading by example. Gutierrez was the individual league champion as a sophomore, a feat he hopes to accomplish again this season. He remembers every detail of every game, such as the 30-ft put he sank to secure the birdie in the final round and the last hole of league championships! The roar he heard from the crowd in that moment leaves an indelible impression on his mind because the reward was so worth all of the effort that preceded it. Prior to the season starting, Gutierrez finished 1st place in a tournament with a 32-competitor field. This finish gave him the confidence boost he needed going into season. Now with that confidence, he carries lofty goals. He looks forward to taking another league championship. He wants to secure the title of team MVP. He hopes to shoot as low as possible, and he expects the same for his senior season. Beyond the game, he intends to be a leader for the underclassmen. He will try to be the best version of himself and make a name for himself so that he can give himself the best opportunity to play in college and beyond. These impressive goals necessitate an immense amount of dedication and discipline. One of the biggest obstacles Gutierrez faces in his sport is mentally balancing the demands and rigor of academics and athletics. He has to maintain his priorities and manage his time. Golf is a mental game, so he has to be committed to not being stubborn and opening himself up to the advice and suggestions from the experts. As he moves toward the latter half of this season, he reminisces about this particular team. He will miss this group of guys because they are a particularly fun team. This season, he has truly looked forward to the opportunity to help the freshmen progress. He is going to miss working with those underclassmen. When it’s all said and done, he will miss the atmosphere of high school golf. “It was something [he] felt compelled to do and make something out of it–set [himself] up for the future.” He loves being an integral part of the Warren Golf Team. Gutierrez relishes the opportunity to feel important and to feel needed. He knows that he is in a position to capture colleges’ attention, so he wants to dedicate himself to performing well at the highest possible level. Gutierrez knows that if he can excel, then he will also serve as a leader for those around him. He takes pride in representing the Bears, and he feels that he is the most qualified to do so. As he thinks about the future Bears, he offers some critical advice: “Keep communicating with one another. Act like a team because everyone matters. Treat one another with that exact mindset.” He also passes along the knowledge that the more experience you get, the better you get. “Celebrate progress and improvement! Every shot matters; every shot is an opportunity to better yourself.” Considering golf is such a mental game, he also advises younger players to stay resilient and never give up. Gutierrez is very grateful for what he’s been given. He is especially thankful for those who are close to him–specifically his family and friends–for their sacrifices on behalf of his golf game. He looks forward to making it worthwhile for all of those who have invested so much time, energy, effort, and resources into his game’s development. He hopes to gain eventual success, not only for himself but as a show of gratitude to those around him. To the rest of his teammates and classmates, he wants to make sure one message resounds, “Golf is a sport! It takes a lot of effort.” The effort that Gutierrez is putting in right now proves that he is willing to do what it takes to become successful in the game he loves. He will stop at nothing to prove all of the doubters and naysayers that he can make a name for himself in this sport.
Again, congratulations to Christian Crosbie and David Gutierrez on being named the Athletes of the Week. Best of luck in the latter half of the season!