The time I started football was when my mom signed me up without telling me. When I found out, I didn’t want to go at all. However, when I saw my friends I knew it was going to be fun. It started off bad but then got way better. The more I kept on going to football practice the more I wanted to play. We had a football camp, and that's when I made lots of new friends. From then on I wanted to play the sport more and more.
From the time I started playing football I didn't think that I would do good at all. However, the more I played the better I got. As the coaches saw me performing in practice they saw potential in me. I started getting more play time and eventually became one of the starters on defense. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Then 2020 happened. It was a hard battle because of covid and having to wear a mask, and social distance. It was a difficult challenge to give 100% all the time, but we did it as a team. I was able to play in all of the games. I wasn't a starter but I proved my place and gave 100%. I actually gave so much that I tore my ACL, which left me unable to play for the remainder of the season. It was painful when we lost all of our games because it hurt me when I saw my friends so angry and sad about it. I felt the same way and knew we were a good team . We needed more practice on their plays, we also needed to watch the films to see how they played and to see how they would react to the plays. We also needed to get in their heads when we played against them and to communicate with each other and have fun with the game.
The first time I got to actually play in a game was in our very first game we had this season. When I got on the field it was cold and there was tension in the atmosphere. We were playing Trinity. I was amped up. I wanted to dominate the field. This was only the second year I had ever played competitively. After one play in the game, they let me play the rest of the game. My coach said, “If you keep on playing like that, you will be playing for the rest of the game!¨ I played for the rest of that game. I was fired up and felt good about myself. At the end of the game we lost. I was mad with the loss but happy I played. Next season we are going to win a championship!
© Rasheed Ahmed. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.