Former Coyote signs with pro team


For The Madera Tribune

Former Madera Coyotes football player Vincent Espinoza is keeping his professional dreams alive by signing with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League.

 

Former Madera Coyotes football play caller Vincent Espinoza recently announced his signing with the Indoor Football League’s Bay Area Panthers.


Espinoza, who is a two-time Collegiate Champion with Lincoln University, will join the Panthers for the 2022 season.


“This opportunity is extremely a blessing, being able to play pro football in my home state and close to my home here in Madera. Also, being able to have a team trust in me to come in and lead the team to the championship is a great feeling, I just have to grind day-by-day and control what I can control,” Espinoza said.


Espinoza honed his skills through multiple sports while growing up in Madera. When Espinoza reminisces of the past, it’s his friends from Madera he thinks of. It is the memories shared within his community and, maybe most importantly, the wins he earned on the field.


“When I played football at Madera High, I was playing multiple positions. I was an athlete and able to do a lot of different things, but I was never just primarily a quarterback. My senior season, I played receiver and I didn’t have a big year or a lot of people looking out for my name,” Espinoza said.


After his high school career ended in 2012, it was the next step that Espinoza was interested in. However, he wasn’t sure if enrolling in college was going to be it.


Espinoza had doubts about the weightlifting and the overall strength required to undertake a possible Division I spot.


Nevertheless, after high school, Espinoza did what was natural — he kept playing football.


“I was fully invested in football. I wasn’t playing other sports, I stopped skateboarding by the 11th grade and I was committed to the game. I was playing every weekend, just flag football and pick up games, anything I could,” Espinoza said.


At that time, he wasn’t sure how to go about it. Is this something fun to do on the weekends or can I make a living out of this was a process that Espinoza had to go through.


After years in the college ranks and a season in the professional league, Espinoza is ready for year two.


“With my football IQ I have gathered over the years from great coaches of all levels and learning all aspects about the game and working on my mechanics day in and day out is what I also can contribute to the team, making sure they get the best me,” Espinoza said.


“Working out, training, and maintaining my athleticism and making sure my body is feeling great so I can give 100 percent every day at practice and transitioning into game day. The ability to still learn and continue to grow and get better is the mindset.”


Although Espinoza is on his own journey, he hopes to provide a source of guidance for the community that holds a place in his heart.


Espinoza has even spent time on the Madera Coyotes’ sidelines throughout the season as a show of support.


“My advice to everybody supporting and looking up to me is just to keep pushing towards your goal. There will always be adversity and will always be stuff thrown your way. We just have to keep pushing,” Espinoza said. “I’m extremely appreciative of my community and everybody helping me out in any way possible to keep fighting. The NFL is my goal. I just have to keep performing.”

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