To young players "Your time will come"

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Shorecrest C Team
Photo by Rob Oxford


I share this story in an effort to encourage the kids like me. The kids who want to play, the kids who never miss a practice, the kids who put in the time and the effort.

By Rob Oxford
Highlander Football Gridiron Group


After watching Thursday night's C-Team game, I felt compelled to share my experience with Freshman Football.

I entered the 9th grade a year behind a brother who graduated as an All-District Defensive Lineman, Team Captain and a State (of Texas) Wrestling Champion.

Truth be told, I didn't even want to play football anymore. All that running, sweating, getting yelled at by coaches every day, missing out on afternoon shenanigans with my friends, only to stand on the sidelines for 4 quarters on Wednesday Nights?

There were 2 instances when I might have a chance to see some action, up by 4 touchdowns or down by 6. But I continued to play, partly because I was told girls love a man in a uniform and partly because I wanted to please my Dad.

I remember thinking "I'm better than some of those guys"...but I wasn't. I could be, but I wasn't. So I kept trying. During games I would stand right next to the coach with my helmet on.

"Can I go in?" I kept asking, "Can I go in Coach?" Nope! Not yet.

10th Grade ... same thing, but I kept at it. Then in 11th Grade I finally got my shot. A kid broke his collarbone during the 2nd or 3rd week of practice and I hate to admit it but I was ecstatic.

I'd love to tell you I started (Center) and the coaches regretted not putting me in sooner, but that's not the case. However, I did my job and I did it well. All those times practicing against bigger kids, standing on the sidelines listening to the coaches tell the starters what they did wrong paid off.

I even got my name in the local paper. Was my Dad pleased? Not really. He thought I should've been a starter long before now, but I was pleased and so were my teammates and friends, especially my GIRLfriend.

I share this story in an effort to encourage the kids like me. The kids who want to play, the kids who never miss a practice, the kids who put in the time and the effort.

Believe me, it doesn't go unnoticed. I know it gets tiresome hearing the coaches say "you're making the starters better", but it does, you are, and your time will come.

The best part is when you've earned their respect, they listen to you and sometimes when you tell them you think you'd be a better tight end, they give you a chance to prove it.



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