What Football Has Done For Me


After winning CIF, the linemen who led the charge get to finally raise the trophy

   Football has been my rock the past four years. I don’t mean a comfortable, easy rock, that allows you to be complacent and soft. I mean a hard rock, which forces you day in and day out to grind, and to suffer.       This doesn’t seem like a positive thing, but those with a lifestyle full of work and discipline will attest to this: discipline and suffering will serve you well in life. It works. I would not be the person I am today without the El Modena football program.

  The coaches enforced a mentality and a culture throughout the entire program. It wasn’t a culture of talent, or showboating, or swagger. It was a culture of grinding and toughness.

  I only got so much out of school. The things I learned in class will help me later I am sure. But the real benefit of high school was being a part of a special program. The football team is a brotherhood. Not many things can give you that.

  Football taught me how to work. I learned how to just shut up and do it. I learned how to focus on a team and not just myself, which might be the most important life lesson to learn. It wasn’t about me, or any other individual. It was about the team. And when it’s all about the team, the outcome is much better.

  The saying on the team is to dominate. Everyone has the option to either survive, compete, or dominate. We were forced to make that decision every single day. A survivor is someone who does the bare minimum, not wanting to go above and beyond the call of duty. A competitor is someone who occasionally pushes themeselves, and for the most part does pretty well. A dominator is someone who crushes every single task they have. In the weight room, on the field, in the classroom, at work, at home. Everything they are expected to do, is done to the absolute best of their ability, and even beyond.

  It is a special person who can do this, and I got to see guys like that in football. I got to try to be that guy. And we were all held accountable for whatever it was we were expected to do. If someone messed something up, we all payed for it. If someone skipped reps in the weight room, we all received punishment for it. It created a tight bond, where everyone had each other’s backs.

  There’s nothing else in high school that can do that for you. I learned lessons which will carry me though all my future challenges in life and in the Navy. It’s not really something you can explain to someone who has never been through it. I am truly grateful for the experience of El Modena football, and for the memories that we all have, which will last a lifetime.

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