How I Found Sports
By: William Crowder
On a hot sunny day when I was four years old my dad and I were driving back from the grocery store. We had driven by a football field, and that night my dad asked me “Do you want to play football?” and I said yes. From that day forward my football journey had began. My first practice seemed like hell on earth; all the coach would do is yell and make us run. But when it came to me running the ball, I was a beast. At the time I was not fast or that strong but i refused to go down. It was the same way when it came to defense, I would run as hard as I could to tackle the ball carrier.
Since I got older I have pretty much mastered the position of running back and Middle Linebacker. The position of running back is both fun but yet challenging. It is fun because I have multiple chances to score touchdowns, and I get a lot of attention. But the position can also be very difficult. For example, when I first started playing football the coach had me at running back so I had certain holes to run through. But I would never pay attention to the hole I had to go to, the only thing I’d worry about is scoring touchdowns. But as I got older I started to understand the importance of running through the right holes. The other I struggled with was making a move on the defender or in other words juking out a defender. I was not the type of running back that was good at juking I was good at just trucking the defender. But as I got older I got better at making a move. However running back was not the only position I struggled with.
Playing the position of middle linebacker came easier to me than than running back because I loved hitting. But I did have to control the defense and call the various plays the defensive coordinator made. Coming from the state of Tennessee, my coach took the defensive side of the football team seriously so I had to memorize approximately 30 plays.
I remember the one game that made me a true linebacker. We were playing a team in Memphis and it was the first game of the playoffs. If we were victorious our team would go to the second round of the playoffs; if successful there, we would go to the championship. However, we had just finished half time and we were going into the third quarter. Our coach had just finished yelling at us because we were losing 32-28. So the whole defense was on mental lockdown; we were focused and was not let them score again.
The whole third quarter no one scored. There was a minute and 24 seconds left on the game clock and our team had the ball. We decided to run a play action pass and throw it deep. But before the ball could get into the quarterback’s hands there was a fumble and the other team recovered the ball. They kept running the ball and eventually got to the 15 yard line; they were ready to score. The quarterback hiked the ball and tossed it to the running back. I saw the whole play and how it was going to go so I came up to tackle the running back. I noticed he was not holding the ball in the right hand so I stripped the ball away and took it all the way back for a touchdown! We won 35-32. After the game I felt like I had just won the superbowl. My whole mind was doing cartwheels after that game winning play. As a result of that game I learned no matter how bad my team is losing, never give up.
How Can Your Present Help Your Future?
By: Ariel Fullilove
Being a freshman on the Frosh/Soph and varsity basketball teams for a prestigious high school, Morgan Park, could really help out with my future to go to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). I have been playing basketball since I was seven years old. When I first started I could tell I needed practice but my mom noticed how I really enjoyed it and told me to never give up. Everyday I practiced and became better; over time I realized playing basketball professionally is something I want to do in life .
When I starting playing basketball in high school, I suddenly I realized there was a big difference in how the game was played in grammar school. The latter was much easier. Part of playing for one of the best girls’ high school basketball teams in Chicago meant I had to practice hard everyday. Most of the girls on the team had the same skills as me so I had to do everything perfectly so they could know I was as good as them.
My first year of playing basketball in high school, we were undefeated until the last game of the season. We lost to Whitney Young 63-56. There were a lot of tears in the locker room because the team worked so hard; losing at the end was very sad and disappointing. Each game throughout the season became harder and harder because we were playing really good teams. However, it taught me a lot of lessons like never to give up striving for greatness .Even though it was hard when I first started I never gave up so it made me better.