My favorite NFL player growing up was Michael Vick. He had speed, agility, the moves. He had it all. I watched him play and decided that’s what I wanted to do. I also looked up to LaDainian Tomlinson. I watched him play, and I wanted to be like him because he always gave his all for his teammates. I wanted to be that kind of player too.
Those players were all great, but my brother was the main influence on me playing little league football. When I was seven years old, I joined the La Cueva West Bears Pee Wee football team, and I was so excited to see what football was really like.
Whenever my brother Stone played, he enjoyed the game so much. He always had fun, and he scored a lot of touchdowns.
While my brother was the most influential person for me, the most impactful person in my life has been my father. He has taught me how to grow not only as a man, but as a child of God. Through football he has taught me to strive to be the best that I can be. Because of him, I decided that I was going to think that way, on and off the field.
Moving into high school, I realized that playing football was more than just a game. Playing for the Valor V on my jersey means the world to me. It means that I get a chance to play for my brothers, but most importantly, play for God.
The brotherhood that we have built over the last four years is irreplaceable. Walking out of the locker room and tunnel before every game gives me chills, because I know that my teammates have my back, and will give everything they can for me. The chance to be able to glorify God everytime I step foot on the field, and use the talents and abilities He has blessed me with, is an honor.
The biggest experience that impacted me off the field was when I went to serve downtown this summer at the Denver Dream Center. We taught kids how to play football. While we were down there, I met a little boy named DaQuae. He thought it was so cool that we had the chance to play football, let alone the chance to play in our own stadium. I told him that sometimes we get to play in Mile High Stadium, and he got so excited. I remember him saying, “I wish that we could play in as nice of places as you do”. That comment made me sad, but also made me that much more appreciative for the things I’ve been given.
Valor has shaped me tremendously, in ways I would have never seen myself being changed. The school has given me a sense of who God really is and how he works, but also how great it is to have true friends, and how impactful they can be on your life.
Coming to Valor in 2014 I did not see myself changing the way that I have. Looking back on the last four years of high school there have been many things that changed me as a person. I cannot thank everyone enough for helping me change for the better.
Blending Football and Faith has impacted the way I play solely because I know that I’m playing to glorify God and use the talents he has given me. On my wrist tape before every game I write F.O.E. and HE>I. I’m reminded every play that Family is Over Everything, and that He is greater than I. Without the love of God, and being surrounded by my brothers, I wouldn’t be as far along in my journey as I am today. I am so thankful that I was put in a spot to be successful. I want to thank everyone who has impacted me and changed my life. Through all my experiences I have learned to be grateful and to give it all up to the Lord.