The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

De Anza 2024 Men’s Mountain Lion Award Winner

Football star Jordan Leach wins after fighting through tremendous odds being homeless
Courtesy of Pierre Whitsey
Jordan Leach sits in his De Anza Mountain Lions football uniform.

Jordan Leach, 24, kinesiology major, was nominated for the Mountain Lion Award after having a great season for the De Anza Mountain Lions football team, putting up 76 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles in the 2023 season. Leach, coming off an all conference unanimous selection and 3C2A all region 1st team at defensive line and linebacker, recently committed to Bluefield State University to continue his football and academic career.

The Student-Athlete Awards Ceremony took place on Thursday, June 13, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center in De Anza College from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to celebrate nominated De Anza student-athletes winning awards such as the Rookie of the Year, Sophomore of the Year, Mountain Lion Award, Performance of the Year, Most Inspirational, Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Coaching Staff of the Year, Team of the Year and De Anza student- athletes who earned honors for Dean’s List, All-Conference, All-State and All-American.

Leach ended up being awarded the 2024 De Anza men’s Mountain Lion Award, which is considered the most valuable player award for De Anza. He continues to pursue his dream of making it to the NFL.

“I’m just trying to make it to the league,” Leach said. “That’s the number one goal. And I just feel like the only thing that is going to stop me is me.”

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Leach, originally from Northern Virginia, sacrificed a lot to become a great football player.

“I sacrificed being away from my family for the longest time, being homeless. … I’m just truly blessed to have this opportunity,” said Leach.

One of the many struggles Leach had to overcome was being homeless.

“I was homeless back home for a little bit, then I came out here (California) and I was homeless for the first couple months I was out here,” Leach said. “Then I was able to get back up on my feet and get a car and a room and I’ve been taking care of business … just constantly grinding.”

Leach said that he is extremely grateful for the people who helped him throughout his life, naming those who played an important role in his success. Some of these people include his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Stacy Leach (Jordan Leach’s mother), Coach Joe D’Agostino (De Anza football head coach), Patty Guitron (De Anza counselor), Gary Valentine (De Anza financial aid supervisor), Dr. Boo Fuqua (FAST tutor), Leach’s teammates and Yaremi Perez (Jordan Leach’s girlfriend).

“When I first introduced myself and I got to know her (Yaremi Perez), understand her, like she understood I was homeless and I wasn’t eating,” Leach said. “She played a big part and role of making sure I was eating, making sure I was housed and making sure I had clothes on my back.”

Perez, 21, kinesiology major, has been by Leach’s side through the good times and the difficult times.

“Seeing how far he’s come, just being here for a year, I feel like it motivates me to be better,” Perez said. “The first day we talked he told me his goals and priorities. … So seeing this all payoff is the biggest thing for me. He kind of showed me that anything can be possible as long as you like, put as much work as you do.”

Stacy Leach talked about how immensely proud she is of her son.

“The feeling that I have for my son, because he’s my firstborn, is unreal, we’ve been doing this since he was five, so for him to achieve this is the best thing in the world,” Stacy Leach said. “We’ve been working his whole life to get these things that Jordan is achieving. So to me, yes, that feels great, and I love it, and I’m happy that Jordan is going to another school where he can shine as he is.”

Stacy Leach described her son as determined and respectful. She is happy for him and his accomplishments.

“When he puts his mind to something, he definitely goes and he gets that regardless of what it takes to get there,” Stacy Leach said. “I just knew that he was going to be something for sure.”

Stacy Leach said her advice to Jordan in the future is to always stay positive.

“I just want Jordan to know, to always be positive and to think of others when making decisions,” Stacy Leach said. “I just want Jordan to be the best man that he can possibly be, regardless if I’m here or his sisters aren’t here, because he’s left and went all the way across the whole United States of America, and he’s done amazing work.”

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About the Contributor
Anthony Politi
Anthony Politi, Staff Reporter
I started to take interest in journalism as a way to get into the sports side of media; my hope for this quarter is to continue improving my writing skills for journalism.

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