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Editorial: 12 years of football, and what it taught me

As+the+Class+of+2019+closes+out+their+football+season%2C+There+is+a+lot+that+can+be+learned+from+their+long+careers.
Photo Credit: Zachary Pereira
As the Class of 2019 closes out their football season, There is a lot that can be learned from their long careers.

With the final blow of the whistle on my last high school football game, it dawned on me that 12 years of sports flew by like that. What I didn’t realize was all that it taught me.

On the Field

I entered the world of football in first grade and instantly fell in love with the sport. Despite having to play flag football my first two years, the game gave me a rush I hadn’t found before. To a first and second grader a school classroom might seem like the only place to gain knowledge, I was wrong. The football field was teaching me all sorts of things, life lessons beyond the scope of math and English. Despite no contact yet, learning how to be part of a team so early was a great first step. Learning how to be part of a team at such a young age would become so helpful as the years went on.

Early on I also learned the values of dedication and commitment. Many times I had to sacrifice hanging out with my friends because I had to attend practices and games. Telling a fellow kid that you can’t hang out is one of the worst things you can say, but I understood my commitment to the team. Such lessons would help me later on, as I began to have to balance football and several other activities.

As the pads came on the lesson grew stronger and more valuable.  While it may seem like a bunch of all brawn and no brain guys hitting each other, there is values rooted in that. I quickly learned how to be tough; how to take on a hit without being afraid. This would build life skills that would keep me from running away from problems and start tackling them head on. However, you can’t always win, you have to get knocked down at some point.  Now while in some situations it may seem easier to just stay down, that  never really is the case. Learning how to stand back up and keep going is a lesson you can’t just learn in a classroom.

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I also learned how to deal well with losing, which is never fun.  Being on the bad end of a close game is one of the worst feelings in the world. Knowing you put so much time and effort into something only to fall just short really does hurt. However there is much to learn from suffering a loss, even when it seems like such a low point. Loss surrounds us in our everyday lives, and learning how to cope with them is a great lesson. We may lose out on a job opportunity, promotion, or raise.  I learned how to lose with class, how to keep my head high and stay hopeful with things got low.

My years playing prior would help me cope with being sidelined my eight grade year. I had to struggle with losing the ability to play after dislocating my patella towards the end of the season. However, I was able to overcome the obstacle and was healthy for my first year of high school ball.

Off the Field

In addition to many great lessons on the field, the game offered many great ones off of it. I learned the importance of family and brotherhood when surrounded by my teammates. The game helped us learn that we had each other’s backs and allowed us to look out for one another. It helped build a sense of trust, knowing your team would do their job on the field as you did yours. This also leaked into school, knowing a teammate was there to help you out with homework or a sticky situation. During my high school career, I had two teammates go through a serious family loss during two different seasons. It was amazing to see how the team bonded together to help these two guys out and be there for them was truly amazing.

One can learn a lot from a life time of sports, and I am happy to say that many of the values in me came from football.  As the various other sports begin to close this year, I ask all of you to reflect back on your career and just think about all that it taught you.

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About the Contributor
Zachary Pereira, Spring Editor and Reporter
Zachary Pereira is 17 years old and was born on September 25, 2001. Currently Pereira is a Senior at Colonia and is involved with the school’s football and track teams; he also is involved with the Spring musical. When not in school Pereira enjoys reading and writing as well as playing video games with his friend such as Madden. One thing people don’t know most about Pereira is that he is a volunteer firefighter at the Colonia Fire Department through the use of their explorer program. Pereira’s favorite school subjects are English and History because the interest him the most; his least favorite is math despite his good grades in the subject. After Colonia high Pereira would like to attend any college that will give him the time of day but Notre Dame is his favorite. Pereira wishes to graduate, get a job and venture out into the world while being a volunteer firefighter on the side.

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    Mike TornambeNov 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I taught Zach in 5th grade at Claremont Avenue School #20….It was such an honor to have him in my class… to see him grow up into the wonderful man he is… is a true testiment of his hard work work and dedication to all his crafts…. thank you Zach for always making your family and I proud! Can’t wait to see where you are in 10 years!

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Editorial: 12 years of football, and what it taught me