FABENS, Texas (KTSM) – Inside the field house nearby Fabens High School’s football field, you will find a showcase that is dedicated to Amador Villalobos Jr.
Villalobos Jr. was a model high school student at Fabens High School in the late 1960s. He was a star athlete as he played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track at Fabens. He was a great athlete but an even better person.
“He was like the model child, straight-A student. He played every single sport, was a good kid at home.” Bertha Spence, Amador Villalobos Jr.’s younger sister said.
“He played football, basketball, baseball, ran track. He did everything.” David Sublasky, Amador’s childhood friend and teammate at Fabens High School, said.
That’s why the unexpected death of Villalobos Jr. during his junior year of high school was one that struck the hearts of many in the community.
“I miss him today. It’s been 53 years and it still bring tears to my eyes.” Sublasky said.
In November of 1969, Villalobos Jr. died after being in a coma for two weeks after he suffered a head injury during a high school football game against Cathedral in October. Villalobos Jr. was just 17-years-old when he tragically lost his life.
But through tragedy, comes light. The Villalobos family, Fabens High School, and community of Fabens are still keeping his legacy alive to this day.
The Amador Villalobos Jr. Fighting Heart award was created. It’s an award that goes to a Fabens High School football player who demonstrates good character on and off the field. It’s an award that was established in the early 1970s, per Bertha Spence.
“It was established in the early 1970s and is given to the player who demonstrated the most heart,” Spence said. “This year, my family and I decided to start a scholarship.”
The Amador Villalobos Jr. Fight Heart Award Scholarship was created by Greg and Bertha Spence.
“You have to have good character, have to have outstanding values. Have to be all about Fabens High School,” Fabens football head coach George Levario said. “The young man that we chose this year exemplifies all those things and more.”
This year’s inaugural winner of the scholarship was Dereck Ramirez. A senior football star who will play his college ball at Sul Ross State University. Ramirez was also related to Amador.
“It makes me happy, extremely happy, because he was my cousin,” Ramirez said. “It makes me motivated and makes me happy that I can continue that tradition of people that were awarded with that award.”
Remembering Amador doesn’t stop there. You can find his name on the school’s field house and on the football field’s scoreboard.
“I don’t think there’s a more appropriate name for our stadium than Amador Villalobos Jr.,” Sublasky said. “He was perfect. I mean, it was just a wonderful, wonderful young man.”
We’re pretty proud to see the signs, to see the scoreboard,” Spence said. “Seeing all these kids. I mean, they represent what Amador was. Hopefully it can continue on for many years to come.”