I’ve been around the game of football my whole life; whether it meant playing catch with my dad and my older brother in the backyard, watching football on Sundays with my grandfather, or actually playing on the field under the “Friday Night Lights.” As summer came to an end and I started to realize that my senior year was beginning to get closer, I began to think about all the ways my life is about to change. I became excited that this will be the last time I go to football camp and run through drills on the hottest days of summer. I will no longer have to run and run and run until my legs just won’t move anymore because of football conditioning. Or I won’t be getting home at 7:30 at night only to work on homework for the next couple hours before I can finally relax.
I remember in junior high tackling receivers and running from lineman was actually halfway easy. Junior high was exciting because I could finally be on the football field instead of at the park or on the playground at lunch time. It was organized. We had uniforms with actual helmets instead of using the pots my mom would used to cook with. We were finally the cool kids.
High school football, on the other hand, was a little different.
I don’t have a very good memory of things that have happened years ago, but I do remember my first football practice as a freshman. I had never eaten so much grass in my life than I did that year. It seemed like every time I would stand up some big senior would run me over, another one would follow and I would be face first in the grass seeing how it tasted again.
Nothing built more character and more perseverance than that freshman year. Now I’m the senior that gets to pick on the underclassman in practice. If you want to know the secret about high school football ask me, but you can’t tell the freshman, they have to figure it out for themselves.
One of the best things about football is being able to be around twenty-five guys that you consider your brothers by the end of the season. Even though we are best friends it doesn’t mean we can’t get a little fired up and see who’s the bigger guy. Practices consist of us struggling to live, to make it to the next drill. But when it comes scrimmage time, there are sixteen teenage boys trying to take each others heads off. It’s not personal, it’s just part of the fun! Another great thing about football is the character that it builds. Everyone on the football field has their buddies back.
During practices if someone is tired or thinks that it’s just too much work, there are fifteen guys pep talking to give them the confidence they need to succeed.
Now for the best part. Football games are unlike anything I’ve experienced so far in my life. Words can’t even describe how it feels to walk hand in hand with music playing in the background, next to one of your best friends, onto the field where the other team waits. Intimidation from a distance.
Everyone on our team is encouraging you to tackle the other players, cheering louder and louder as the tackles become harder and harder. It’s one of the biggest adrenaline rushes just knowing that the eight guys on the other team have the same goal in mind. My senior season is coming to an end, but I know the memories will last a lifetime. Maybe one day I’ll be one of the old folks in the coffee shop sharing football stories.View more articles in: