Victoria East sophomore Donovan Gomez skates for more than landing new tricks or getting the most air when he shows up to the Victoria Skate Park with his friends. 

Gomez skates to keep his father's legacy alive. 

"When I was little, my dad always wanted me to skate and when he died, all I wanted to do was skate," he said. "I always think about him when I skate. He'd want me to try hard."

Since 2009, the park has given skateboarders, roller skaters, BMX riders and scooter-pushers a chance to take advantage of the rails, stairs, bowls and smooth surface of the park.

Gomez, 15, was one of many skateboarders showcasing their skills on a hot and dry summer afternoon.

The park had been closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Texas, but reopened to the public June 5.

"I don't like being inside all day so I love that the skate park is open," Gomez said. "Being out here skateboarding is what I love to do, and it's better than staying inside at home."

The park's street course consists of an upper section of connecting pathways that drop 2 1/2 feet to a lower section with even more ledges, hips and manual pads. 

The park's bowl includes four different depths, which range between 3-6 feet. 

Gomez said skating the bowl is his favorite part.

"It's awesome," he said. "It's awesome that people still love to skate. It's cool to see little kids out here skating, and it's cool to see new people."

Armando Rivera, a student at Patti Welder Middle School, was also happy the skate park was open.

His first day at the park was his first time on a skateboard. 

"I like that is has ramps and bumps everywhere," Rivera said. "It feels smooth when I skate. It's good. I'm glad it's open."

Rivera plans to continue skateboarding with his 6-year-old brother Ricky, who was also enjoying the park for the first time. 

"It's fun to skate with him," he said. "I have to keep an eye on him, but it's fun."

Rey Castillo is the assistant sports editor for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached at rcastillo@vicad.com, 361-574-1240 or on Twitter @reycastillo361.

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