Daniel Montana loves the atmosphere that surrounds football but the Cienega senior found his home on the baseball diamond and he will continue that love at the next level. Growing up playing Little League and youth football, Montana works to make his family proud.
We caught up with Montana Tuesday afternoon:
Q: You played football and baseball for Cienega. What sport do you prefer?
A: That’s always a tough question but I love the football atmosphere it can’t be beat. Baseball is my bread and butter, but I’ll have to go with football.
Q: How did you get started in football and baseball?
A: It all started with my dad taking me outside when I was little and we’d toss a tennis ball. I played Little League with Rincon and with the Tucson Redskins for football. I got away from football when I got into baseball but when I got to Cienega I fell back in love with it.
Q: What things did your dad teach you?
A: Always be ready to play any position and go where the coach wants you to play and play the game the right way.
Q: You were having a great year at 7-1 and you were about to play Sabino (9-0) when the season got put on hold. Tell me some of your thoughts about the break?
A: It’s unfortunate to think it might be over but me and the guys are going with the mindset that it’s not over and turn this experience into something for the better. Stay focused, be ready and blow everyone out of the water when the season starts again.
Q: You might also miss prom and graduation. Have you thought about that?
A: It’s been on my mind. Walking across the stage was always important because it showed a sense of accomplishment and the prom with all your friends spending one last night together. We hope it’s not taken away.
Q: Tell us about your commitment to Community Christian in California?
A: I was at a tournament when I was 15 or 16 and this club coach got a hold of my dad because he wanted me to play with his team. He became the head coach of Community Christian and I was the first player he called.
Q: What does it mean to you and your family to play in college?
A: In means a lot to do something no one in my family has done. I love that I get to make my parents and my family proud.
Q: Tell us about your current team at Cienega.
A: It’s a great senior class and we’ve all played together since Little League. We have lots of fun but when we step on the field, we all flip a switch. We want to make our presence felt and we’re going to compete and get the job done.
Q: You were part of those great Rincon Little League teams. What did you learn from that experience?
A: When we became high school freshmen, we knew we could do something special. We knew if we took what the coaches told us and worked hard, we would succeed.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019. Contact Andy Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org