Fast forward one year and Espinoza continues to flourish with the Grizzlies ... to the point where just last week ... he was named one of five homecoming king finalists.
The winner won't be announced until this Friday but win or lose -- Espinoza's friends say he's been an inspiration to everyone who's come in contact with him
Central Head Coach, Casey Quinn said, "Nick Espinoza has done a great job of turning into a fine young man. Doing a good job in school, following directions, making friends, establishing new friendships, keeping new friendships, and just being a pleasure to be around."
"He still is out here part of the team. He's one of the team members so anything we do, he's a part of it. Well what happened is we get these little slips and it has his name and the whole team just tells everyone to circle for Nick. Because that's who we want to win," said Grizzlies Quarterback, Mike Baker.
Espinoza said, "On the field at homecoming? To walk down on the field. Homecoming king. (and you want to be homecoming king?) Yes."