I always had such a love for the game of football. I remember I would play in the backyard everyday with my brothers; I would even watch football with my dad every weekend. I started to fall in love with the game, and I wanted an opportunity to play. I know that the idea sounded crazy, but I just wanted a chance. So when I was about seven years old I came to my parents and asked them if I could play. They didn’t really like the idea of me playing since they didn’t want their baby girl getting hurt. A few weeks went by and my dad and I went to my twin brother’s football tryouts. While we were there we saw a girl playing. At that moment I knew that I would be able to convince my parents to let me play, and I did. The first day of practice comes around. I remember I had so many thoughts going through my head. Am I going to be good enough? Am I going to get made fun of? Is this going to be worth it? I arrived at practice and everyone stared at me and I could hear them talking about me. I knew I needed to do well. After that first year, I was a lot less nervous. My next couple years went by pretty well. I started to get a lot of supporters and haters too, which I was fine with. The one year of football I will never forget was 6th grade year. I had this Coach named Coach Mule. He was an old-school football coach, so he didn’t really like the idea of girls playing. He thought I wasn’t going to be tough enough, so my goal that year was to prove him wrong. That season I worked hard and did really well. At the banquet, Coach Mule came up to me and said that I proved him wrong and that I deserved to play. Now he is like a grandfather to me. Then, middle school football came around. I knew that it was going to be tougher than recreational ball, and I was right, but it was worth it. I had this Coach in 7th grade named Coach Kestner. He is one of my favorite football coaches. I ended up becoming very close with him. He always encouraged me to come to his youth group since he is a youth pastor. He is one of the reasons I got closer with God. Being closer with God made me motivated to work hard. I also started to become closer with the boys on the team. My team was like my family.
Next up was high school football. I know most of the guys are tougher, faster, and stronger than me in high school, so I knew I had to work hard to play. I made sure I came to all the offseason workouts to show the coach I was motivated and actually serious. I worried that the coach wasn’t going to let me play since he would think I would get hurt or that I wouldn't know what I was doing. So once practice came I had to prove I could take a hit and that I could handle the intensity of Salem football. The coach ended up letting me play. The practices for high school were harder and longer, but it made me realize that I still love the game so much. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t really get that much playing time that year but that’s okay since most freshmen don’t. So my goal in the offseason was to get better and stronger, so I did. Sophomore season has just started so I need to continue to work hard. Football has become a very important part of my life now and has taught me so much.
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