Gary Souza will receive the Lancer Tradition Award at the team's event to kick off the season for his work with Bishop Amat athletes, reported the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. For nearly 30 years, he has provided physical therapy and sports medicine services to several local high schools. He owns Gary M. Souza, P.T. and Associates on Pathfinder Road.
Besides Bishop Amat, his business has provided services to athletes at Diamond Bar, Walnut Rowland, Nogales, San Dimas, Bonita, and Charter Oak high schools, Souza said.
He has been working with Bishop Amat since 1986, he said.
“Gary has impacted a lot of high school athletes,” Bishop Amat coach Steve Hagerty told the Tribune. “He has (been) really special at Bishop Amat. Gary’s been an amazing addition to the school for many years.”
Also to be honored at the dinner is John Sciarra, a Bishop Amat alum and former NFL standout.
Souza said missing a Bishop Amat game has been rare for him in his 27 years of working with the school.
"It doesn’t take long to become a part of the 'Amat Family,' he said "Over 27 years, I have developed relationships with some of the most amazing people. While I am friends with many of Amat’s successful professional athletes, my favorite memories are of the little guys that worked so hard and were not only successful on the field, but now are successful in life."
He said that the "scary part" is that now he is working with the children of the athletes he once treated.
“Working with youth athletes in the San Gabriel Valley has
been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career," he said. "The athletes that have gone on to compete in the Olympics,
college or professional sports have been exciting, but my true rewards come
from the athletes that have valued our service and have used the experience to pursue
a career in the health professions."