Playing West Deptford Football

Collin Fetty '12

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This personal narrative was written in Miss Grossmann’s class in 2008. It was published on the This I Believe site last year:

Most people call it hell, however a select group of kids would disagree; they call it practice. The summer practices for football had begun, and the team was now out on the gridiron more than they were in their own homes. Most of us didn’t mind because the football field is the only place in high school where you can beat the piss out of each other; you don’t just get away with it, you get praised for doing so. However to me football is not just a sport, but a way of life that teaches many valuable lessons.

It was my freshman year at high school, more importantly it was my first year being a part of the school’s football program. I was determined to make a name for myself. Throughout the summer I did everything I could with the team. I went to the Wing-T Offensive Camp, every conditioning session, and devoted my time to the weight room; doing that I managed to win the Ironman Competition for the freshman class. My family was very proud of me, as I was with myself. More importantly, I knew I made a mark on the coaches.

Before August practices began I had to get a physical to play. I managed to pass, however when it was finished I was faced with a very difficult obstacle – I found out I had cancer. I began to think all of the hard work and time I put into football was now meaningless. Even worse, I found out that I was going to need surgery; meaning that my season was going to be cut short. I managed to stay optimistic though. I worked harder than ever during practices knowing that my season was going to be that much shorter than everyone else’s, so I had to play that much better in every game. I won the starting TE and DE spot on the freshman team and was named one of the four captains. When I played I led the team in sacks and tackles. Also I had some key touchdown receptions that saved us games, all with a thumb that I broke during the second game of the season.

After my surgery I was determined to get back before our season ended. I began to practice a month ahead of schedule, and got cleared for our last game. During that game I began to play right where I left off; I led our team in tackles – some for a loss of yards – and I had a few sacks. Unfortunately, we lost a nail-biter 18-16.

Looking back to last season, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I was very happy with how I played and how I managed to overcome the obstacles that god had placed in front of me. I know that by doing so only made me a better person, a better player, and a better teammate. Also, thanks to last season I have learned that hard work always pays off.