Challenges Faced By A Football Player At OLSH

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Dion McIntosh '22

Being an athlete challenges your character everyday as a person, but only special people can do that and keep their grades up, as well. Football players face unique challenges specific to their sport. Taking a beating everyday, day in and day out, can be brutal on the body and may make some players want to quit.  

What’s the hardest thing about being a student athlete here at OLSH? Junior Nico Harken says, “Getting hurt, and being able to go to school, and still have to focus on school while being hurt… it kind of distracts you sometimes.” Nico was faced with a concussion this year in one of the biggest games of the season against the Laurel Spartans. Early in the game, Nico was playing left guard, and was pulling (running to the other side of the line to block someone) to hit another player where he made helmet to helmet contact with the player, causing the concussion. While having that concussion, he missed some days of school, which was a challenge to him. Nico said, “I couldn’t focus for about two weeks… always having headaches and feeling foggy.  It was hard getting back to normal.”

 Many players say that keeping up with your work and playing is the hardest thing. Sophomore Gavin Tonery says, “I try to keep a similar routine everyday to keep up with everything.” Other players on the team  agree with Gavin, saying they try and keep a similar daily schedule so they can get the rest they need, and their school work done after or even before practice. “After practice I get home, I shower and do homework right away.  I try to get the more important stuff out of the way as soon as possible, and then spend the rest of the night playing Playstation.” After talking to him a little more, he said that routine really helped him balance school and football because he was used to doing it everyday after school.  

A challenge that I faced was when getting home after a long, hard working practice was  being tired. It was hard after almost 10 hour days of school and practice. Knowing you have more school and more practice, you have to be mentally strong to be able to keep going.  It can be hard at times, but when you love to do something you keep pushing until you get it done.

With all challenges faced during football, many would say football is a love/hate relationship.  From injuries to dealing with off-the-field problems, football helps build character and teaches you a lot about yourself as a young man.  As difficult as the challenges may be, football can help you get to many places in life. The best of the best, make it to the NFL or even other professional football leagues. From going to college and getting free education, to forming bonds with your teammates, football leaves an impact that can affect you for a lifetime.