I've grown up in a family of football. My father has been a coach longer than I have been alive and my two brothers and I have been playing the game since the 6th grade. The oldest left for the military and the middle plays for Eastern Illinois. All three of us were always told each year, "you don't have to do this if you don't want to, don't do this because I'm a coach" our dad would say. But I committed my Summer and Fall seasons toward a higher calling than to just go hit people for fun (although it is beyond entertaining), as I saw football as a way to be a leader of men. I have committed myself to becoming a better leader on and off the field. My efforts on the field were rewarded this year with the awards of 1st team All-Conference and 1st team All-District nominations.
Even after football season, my duty as a student-athlete is not complete. In April I was nominated and honored with the 2015-2016 Junior Student of the Year. It was an honor to receive such an award for leadership, character, and academics. And in May I was named the Missouri District 2 1st Place Discus Champion. Not a bad second semester, but I will not let it stop there. As I transition into my college years, so do my goals of achieving greatness on the field. However, the most important goal is to achieve even greater success in the classroom to ensure I have a successful future. One of the best values that football has taught me is to put the important things first. I believe there is a reason why it is called student-athlete, and not athlete-student. Your education is the most important thing over any sport and is the key to a successful future.
As last years seniors have left, my class and I are now in their shoes. With last season being the best record breaking season in our school's history, a lot of criticism has been coming our way as people don't believe that our varsity team will be as successful. Nothing makes us more excited than to prove them wrong. Personally, I was not satisfied with All Conference and District honors so this year it is my personal goal to reach a step further and achieve all State Recognition. If there's one thing I've learned from the game of football, it is to never give up. That was a value that my father would always preach because when the opponent may take the score board, they can't take away the heart.
I will get bigger, I will get stronger, and I will get faster. I aspire to reach my goals on and off the field and I am ready to compete at the collegiate level.