Springfield, Ore. -- "He's a little bit of both but I'd say he's a lot more of the lead by example guy," says Springfield Millers head football coach Adam Jones. "When Arturo shows up dialed in and he's there to work and play as hard as he can play, it gets infectious for everybody else."
Springfield's Arturo Diaz has been through it all with Millers football. The ups, the downs, the in-between. It was remembering the good days that helped Diaz lead his teammates through the bad.
"I think it was mostly guys my freshman year," Diaz recalls. "...you know Trevor Watson, Gabe Mitchell, Jordan Henderson...you know big all state players. I looked up to them. They had their own little group and I wanted to be in that group and I knew that I wouldn't get into that group until I was one of the guy."
That was a motivator, as well as his brother, Adrian Montes, who also played at Springfield.
"He would take it easy on me in practice so that was fun I guess," jokes Diaz. "I kinda wish I could see him now though put a little beating on him. I would run him over clear as day no doubt about it."
"His brother is...I see him every Friday night," Jones says. "They're definitely here and it's definitely a big deal to Arturo so it's important to him."
Through both classes of brothers though, Millers football has bottomed out buand started a rebuild under head coach Adam Jones.
"Unfortunately for some of these seniors, like I said over the summer, three head coaches in three years and it's just been an unfortunate set of circumstances and I think they deserve better," Jones mentions.
"What's been tough for me was learning how to be a leader not by saying stuff just by showing by example," Diaz expands. "Really when it comes down to it you have to show what you can do to your teammates."
And that's meant challenges on upperclassmen like Arturo. But with the advice of his brother and coach, Diaz has risen to be a key cog of this Millers team.
"It's like just show what you can do and be a guy that you can count on if they can't count on you they won't wanna be next to you on a Friday night," concludes Diaz. The hope, of course: to set the groundwork for future classes to lead Springfield to a place of prominence in 5A once again.
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