An Injury didn’t stop Daniel Munguia from playing Football

From the continuing series “Everybody Has A Story”


Marco Morales

Daniel Munguia, number 10, at the end of the Segerstrom vs. Godinez game, photo taken at 9:00 p.m, Aug. 30, 2019.

Marco Morales and Erick Pompa

A torn ACL can be known as the end of an athlete’s career, but senior, Daniel Munguia did not let his injury stop him from playing varsity football.

Munguia is passionate about two things, playing football and the Green Bay Packers.

His love for the Packers started when he was 8-years old. He would watch games with his older brother which led to his love for football.

“I started to watch players that I really liked such as Russell Wilson, who inspired me to become a better athlete and Aaron Rodgers who is the best quarterback of all time,” said Munguia.

During a scrimmage game against La Quinta High School in 2017, Munguia, who was a sophomore playing strong safety, came down for a tackle at the sideline and was met with a running back’s helmet to the knee.

Pullquote Photo

I kept trying to run in practice but I kept feeling pain in my knee”

— Daniel Munguia

Following his injury, Munguia was out for the remainder of the season and the next year. “At first I thought that I dislocated my kneecap,” said Munguia. The first three months he was on crutches and in a knee brace. He eventually healed and started practicing with his team again.

“I kept trying to run in practice but I kept feeling pain in my knee. That’s when I decided to get an MRI,” said Munguia. 

He finally went in for an MRI and found that his injury was worse than he thought. He had torn his ACL and MCL. 

A torn ACL, Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, is when the tissue that connects the thigh bone to the shinbone is torn. Most ACL tears require an MRI to view the tissue between the fibia and the tibia. In many cases, these injuries require surgery for it to heal. 

After his injury, his mom was not on board with him continuing football after his recovery.

Munguia reflected, “At first my mom overreacted, she wanted me to quit football. I had to convince her that I could stay.”

Yuani Ruiz, Munguia’s mother, did not want her son to get injured again. 

Ruiz said, “Truthfully, I had a fear of letting my son play again. I got scared when I first heard about his injury because as a mother, you fear that a moment like this can happen.”

Not only did surgery scare Munguia but it scared Ruiz even more.

Ruiz added, “I can’t really explain how I felt but the doctors made sure that Daniel got the best treatment.”

Munguia went on to miss his entire sophomore and junior year of football but made an exciting return to the field this season as the starting quarterback of the team.

“I was excited. A lot of emotions were going through me. I was nervous. Relieved. I mean it took a long time to get there so it was a lot of weight off my shoulders. It was a great feeling,” said Munguia.

Most recently, Munguia won Athlete of the Month for October. Athletes of the Month are chosen by their coaches. In this case, Munguia’s coach Sebastian Hernandez chose him for, “Being a very bright point for the Grizzly football team. He has developed into a great leader on and off the field,” said Hernandez. 

“I was shocked. I have always seen football players get them, so I always wanted to get one.”

Apart from football, Munguia enjoys listening to music in his spare time.

“For those who know me, know that I am a pretty chill dude. I’m not a loud person but my friends know how I get. I am into a lot of music such as rock and rap. I like Eminem, Mac Miller, The Black Keys, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, the list goes on.”

Munguia and the Godinez football team have been struggling with a game total of 1-7. Their only win was a forfeit win against Magnolia High School after it was discovered the opposing team played an ineligible player. 

Munguia is staying optimistic for the remainder of the season and feels that “the job isn’t done yet.”

Despite the Grizzlies’ struggles on the field, at least Munguia can cheer about the Packers’ 6-1 record in the NFL.