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Football: Multiple sclerosis won't stop Gerardo Leos from returning for South East

November 25, 2011 | 12:20 am


In what should be a triumphant moment for the entire Southern California football community, South East linebacker-running back Gerardo Leos is expected to play for the Jaguars on Friday, two months after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Leos played in South East's first three games before a series of headaches prompted tests that led to the diagnosis of the progressive autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system for which there is no cure.

Leos' return should provide an emotional lift as the Jaguars (10-1) play host to Fremont (5-6) in a City Section Division II quarterfinal playoff game. He will join a list of athletes who have played with multiple sclerosis including Stan Belinda, a major league relief pitcher, and UCLA's Robert Kibble, who played on special teams for the Bruins in 2005 before being forced to retire because of his condition.

"These guys want him to play because they like him so much," South East Coach Derwin Henderson said of his players in September.

--Ben Bolch

Photo:Gerardo Leos is surrounded by his South East High teammates. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times