Football, Faith and Family- Life Lessons Learned in the Trenches

Wanted to share chapter one from my amazon book about my life as a football player and coach.

Chapter One- My Football and Faith Beginning

I grew up in the sport of football, my dad, uncles, brothers and cousins all played football.  We played on Sunday afternoon at my grandma’s house and boy, those were some rough games.  We tackled, blocked and played just like we had pads on.  Football was a tradition in my extended family.  On top of that, my brothers and uncles coached me in little league.

As I got older and made it to high school all of them were there on Fridays watching the games.  So Sunday after church, I got coached up, told what I did and didn’t do and how to get better.  It’s not easy being coached by your relatives and critiqued.  However, looking back I certainly appreciate it now. It was life lessons I needed and something I take with me to this day. 

I always wanted to be a professional football player from the time I was seven years old playing little league.  I worked so hard for many years trying to be the absolute best I could.  I lifted weights, ran laps, ran up and down hills, and played year round sports to become a better athlete.  I had a very good high school career making all conference, all county and all district honors in football as an offensive and defensive lineman.  I was also a three time conference champion wrestler and state qualifier. 

While many of my buddies parties and chased girls, I focused on my academics and sports training.  I was a typical teenage boy, so I will not claim to be innocent by no means.  But I did focus on my goals and aspirations of being the first in my family to attend college on a scholarship.  I did not want my parents to be burdened financially no more than possible.  

All that focus and work was paying off by the time I went into spring of my high school senior year.  I had seven offers to play college football with one of those being NC State. I also had four offers to wrestle in college.  I grew up a North Carolina Tarheel fan (Wolfpack fans please  don’t stop reading)!  I had decided to go to NC State, Western Carolina or Mars Hill College for football. 

My best college wrestling offer was a small school in Pennsylvania and I didn’t want my parents to have to travel that far for matches so I chose football.  Football was my passion and I had goals to accomplish.  Little did I know that football, faith and family would be a journey of ups, downs, curves, trials and triumphs.  

Life Lesson #2- You don’t always get what you want, so put your big boy pants on and push forward.  Life throws ditches, bumps in the road  and what can seem to mountains at times.  As stated above, we don’t always get what we want.  However, that doesn’t mean we stop trying to get to where we are going.  In life, we have to pick ourselves up off the ground, regroup, rebound and push ahead.  We cannot let life get us down and sit on top of us like a bully.  I have had those times and pushed through them.  But there were times when I just wanted to stop, give up and let it go.  The devil wants us to be quitters, he wants us to give up, lose hope and leave our mission.  God wants us to come to him, walk with him and push through the tough times so we can reap the great times.

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