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Top-rated long snapper heads to UC Davis after fresh start at Moorpark College

John+Aloma%2C+19-year-old+long+snapper%2C+stands+on+the+Moorpark+College+football+field.+Aloma+is+heading+to+the+University+of+California+Davis+in+the+fall.+He+has+worked+extremely+hard+to+achieve+his+scholarship.+Photo+credit%3A+Darya+Abbassi
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Top-rated long snapper heads to UC Davis after fresh start at Moorpark College

John Aloma, 19-year-old long snapper, stands on the Moorpark College football field. Aloma is heading to the University of California Davis in the fall. He has worked extremely hard to achieve his scholarship. Photo credit: Darya Abbassi

John Aloma, 19-year-old long snapper, stands on the Moorpark College football field. Aloma is heading to the University of California Davis in the fall. He has worked extremely hard to achieve his scholarship. Photo credit: Darya Abbassi

John Aloma, 19-year-old long snapper, stands on the Moorpark College football field. Aloma is heading to the University of California Davis in the fall. He has worked extremely hard to achieve his scholarship. Photo credit: Darya Abbassi

John Aloma, 19-year-old long snapper, stands on the Moorpark College football field. Aloma is heading to the University of California Davis in the fall. He has worked extremely hard to achieve his scholarship. Photo credit: Darya Abbassi

By Darya Abbassi

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The number-one-rated, junior college long snapper is heading to the University of California, Davis with a scholarship, after finding a fresh start at Moorpark College.

Illness forced 19-year-old John Aloma to come home from a division one football program. For many athletes this would be incredibly heartbreaking but Aloma is not letting that stop him from achieving his goal.

“Every single day I can’t give myself an excuse to stop working,” said Aloma. “Knowing that I am about to transfer to Davis; just gets harder, which means I have to work even harder to prepare myself more.”

Aloma attended the University of Utah in the fall of 2016, after graduating from Simi Valley High School. His first year at the University of Utah, Aloma was hospitalized during fall camp for appendicitis. It was then that he made the difficult decision to come back home. Growing up in Simi Valley with a loving family and supportive parents, Aloma knew that his family would support him every step of the way.

“I decided to come back home to get a fresh start at Moorpark College,” said Aloma. “I felt that it was my best opportunity to get out to a better school and just start over again.”

Aloma is practicing everyday throughout the off season. He trains with his fellow teammates and coaching staff from the previous football season.

“I work as hard as I can and just want to strive for the best,” said Aloma.

His best friend from high school, Stephen Gomez, who is the punter for the Moorpark College football team, was sad to see John go through such a painful turning point in his life, but he was grateful to have Aloma back on the same team as him again. They both played football together for three years at Simi Valley High School. Since Gomez is a year younger than Aloma they went their separate ways once John graduated and left for Utah.

“John is a great snapper overall and everything about him is pinpoint accuracy,” said 18-year-old Gomez. “He’s a hard worker and I will definitely miss everything about him.”

Once Aloma moved back home, he knew that his medical condition would not stop him from playing football again. After being hospitalized for over a week and losing 15 lbs. of muscle, Aloma knew how important it was to get back in shape and start training again.

“I really had to recommit myself to snapping every day and training in the weight room to become better and stronger,” said Aloma.

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Aloma prepares to snap the ball to coach Johnson. He practices on his own time to get better and stronger everyday. Photo credit: Darya Abbassi

After training hard and practicing every day to improve, Aloma was prepared to play for the Moorpark Raiders football team this past season. He wanted to get back on the field as soon as possible and do what he loves most – playing football. Being the long snapper at Moorpark College gave him a new opportunity to grow and make a huge impact on the team, according to coach Johnson, the special teams coordinator.

“He is one of the most disciplined, hardworking guys I have ever been around,” said Johnson. “This guy is very determined and talented in his craft.”

Johnson had the opportunity to work with Aloma throughout the season where he found out how admirable of an athlete and person he is. Not only is his athletic ability incredible but his perseverance to always give his all is what Johnson admires most.

“He is very diligent; you never have to keep on top of him,” said Johnson. “He has a good head on his shoulders and that really shows for his performance on the field.”

Aloma is grateful for all the opportunities he has had as being the long snapper at Moorpark College. His positive attitude and determination is what keeps him motivated to train every day and become a better athlete. He has high hopes for his academic career and is excited for his future in college football.

“I want to graduate UC Davis with my degree,” said Aloma. “My goal is to become the best snapper in college football.”

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