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Goodbye Football

Goodbye Football: Part V

This is a continuation of a series chronicling my football career. Read part one here part two here,  part three here, and part four here.

 

I’ve previously mentioned people who have had a positive effect on my life, but I’ve left out the most important one until right now, my mother.  After my freshman season in high school, we had a number of spots open for starters.  I didn’t think there was any chance that I could start., because I was around 6’ or 6’1” at the time and weighing in at about 210lbs.  There were guys that were 6’6” 310lbs in front of me.  I wasn’t even working out, until she heard of evening weightlifting sessions at my high school.  There was a coach that was in the gym, monday through friday from 5-7.  Every single day she drove me to and from the gym.  She asked questions about protein shakes and vitamins.  I remember a specific morning, I came downstairs for breakfast and she made a homemade protein shake with peanut butter, bananas, and some other stuff in it.  She forced me to drink it despite the taste being less than satisfactory.  Why? Because she knew it was good for me and would make me stronger and a better football player.

My mother and I before my senior game

My mother had more determination and drive for me to be a better player than I did.  Over time, I began to learn all of the things she intended for me and from that, I took the reigns and didn’t require any more motivation.  She taught my a invaluable lesson that I intend to teach my own children when they are ready; whatever you do, in whatever field, make sure you do it with nothing less than 100% effort, or else you’re wasting your time.

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Goodbye Football: Part IV

This is a continuation of a series chronicling my football career. Read part one here part two here, and part three here.

 

Yough, I can’t stand this team.  I played this team every single year since my 7th grade, a lot of our players personally knew some of their players, but not in a positive way.  I was more than satisfied in my performance against washington, but I was upset that we were out of the playoff hunt.  Times likes these after an emotional loss, someone has to pay and I might as well make it Yough.  Some guys just have a hard time staying motivated when everything we’re playing for disappears like smoke.  I’ll admit, I was a victim a couple times when I was younger.  I remember times we were down 40 or more points at the half and there was always some idiot shouting out, “Play for pride!”  Pride?  I can’t even wear my letterman jacket out in public because it would attract questions about our record, “Oh we’re 1 and 8, or 4 and 6.” So many times I wish I could say I was a member of some prestigious football team or some huge WPIAL contender, but no, I’m stuck here at Southmoreland.  Eventually, I learned that it’s far more important of where you go instead of where you’re from.

Steve Carson and I on the sideline

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Goodbye Football: Part III

This is a continuation of a series chronicling my football career. Read part one here and part two here.

 

 

We were watching film on Monday and we were going over some game film of Washington. Coach Pritts was struggling with the camera as always and shouting out gameplans for us. He eventually started discussing their line. Washington had an awesome lineman, number 71, Sam Miller. “This guy’s a bastard!” Pritts said.  A few times on film we saw that Miller would bodyslam opposing linemen just after the whistle or give a dirty hit. They even lined him up as fullback in some short yardage situations, that immediately spurred jealousy in me. However, I already had my own personal memory with Sam Miller.

This is right before I learned how bad a cut block can feel

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Goodbye Football: Part II

This is a continuation from a series I’m writing about my football career, to check out part 1 click here

 

There are people I owe a little to, there are some I owe a lot to, and then there’s Brian Pritts.  Freshman year my high school coach paid little attention to players, felt like he didn’t even bother remembering names.  When Brian was hired as head coach the next year, he took a keen interest in my development.  It wasn’t just me though, he reached out to many students at Southmoreland and went out of his way for everyone.  For me personally, he put his neck out to scouts and because of him, my career is even worth putting into a few blog posts like this.  One day he even mentioned to me when I was practicing my drop step as a tackle, “You’re gonna be a guard in college”.  I cannot say he’s the most winningest, or the most prestigious, but I can clearly say he was the best. He took care of all of his players and I’ll always be grateful for Him.

 

Just a few days into my senior year of camp

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Goodbye Football: Part 1

Over the next couple days I’m going to be chronicling the entirety of my football career. I’m going to remember the highlights and memorable things as well as the effect that football has had on my character. Enjoy.

The year was 2001, and I was in sixth grade, a family friend convinced my mother to sign me up for midget football and after the first two days of non padded practice they gave us a large mesh equipment bag that had all we needed. When I got home with it I quickly ran into the living room with it and shut the large sliding door that gave me privacy. I felt like Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he was decoding little orphan Annie’s message on the radio in private in the bathroom. However, this was far more important than that. I’ve never worn any football pads or pants before, let alone a helmet. It was actually quite funny, I had difficulty determining where some pads went and how in the world to adjust my buckle for my helmet. After around a half hour I finally had everything on. I remember the feeling, standing there with the straps of my shoulder pads hugging me tightly. I felt like I was wearing body armor, it was spectacular.

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