Dream on

Zak - Auburn, Washington
Entered on November 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Throughout my years, I have seen numerous people give up on their goals and dreams because they have been told they aren’t good enough. I believe that the greatest satisfaction in life is to do what others say you can’t. Ever since I was a little boy, I have been around the game of football. My dad was a great football player himself, the game is naturally in my blood. When I was 8 years old I decided I wanted to be just like my dad and play football. The first day of practice I was rejected because I was oversized, and inexperienced. I played offensive line and I didn’t know what to do. The coaches yelled at me constantly, and I eventually started to give up.

Most people don’t understand how important the offensive line is. They deserve all the credit when a running back makes a big gain. Without the blocking, there would be no running back. When I was young I didn’t understand how important the role was. I told my dad about my growing distaste for football, and he explained to me that I had the most important job. Being young and stubborn, I refused to believe him and I quit. When 7th grade came around I decided to try and play again, but this time for the school. Around this time I had started to slim down quite a bit, I naturally grew out of my bigger size. I was still a bit large, and on the Mountain team, but I finally got a chance to be the running back. I discovered that running the ball was one of my talents; I scored over 10 touchdowns in 6 games. My 7th grade season was a great success and I rediscovered my love for football.

When 8th grade came around, the Mountain and Sound team combined. The Sound team was the littler, faster guys. My spot at running back was taken by those little fast guys. I started to want to give up once again. I probably would have if it wasn’t for my coach. My coach knew I was a good athlete and he still wanted to use me as much as he could. At this time I was introduced to defense. I discovered that defense is what I was born to play. The big hits are what I live for. Unfortunately, there was somebody better than me and he took the starting spot. Not once did I ever think about quitting because I had found what I loved to do inside of a game I loved even more. My 8th grade season didn’t go very well because I didn’t play very much.

My freshman year of high school I was a little worried about playing football. All the opponents I had faced in middle school would be my teammates. Many of them were very talented and I wasn’t sure if I could hang with them. Once again I had a talk with my dad and I will never forget what he told me. He said, “Never give up on your dreams; nobody can stop you from becoming the best.” I took his advice and decided to play. Without him, I probably would have given up once again. I didn’t start that year, but I learned what high school football was all about. I discovered that I could play with all the other kids who were more talented than me. My freshman year prepared me for the years to come in my high school career.

I still hadn’t proven myself to the coaches yet. I worked incredibly hard over the summer to get bigger and faster for my sophomore year. This was my year to finally play varsity football. About 5 weeks in to the season, I still had not been given my chance to show the coaches that I was ready for varsity. It was a Friday night game against Sumner. They weren’t a good team, so the second string got to go in around the 2nd quarter. Still the coaches would not put me in. I sat on the sidelines and watched until in the 4th quarter, my name was called. Finally, I was given my shot. The first series I was in, I intercepted a pass and ran it in for a touchdown. Not only did I show my coaches and my teammates that I could play, but I proved to myself that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

I am now a starting safety for the Auburn football team. We are ranked 3rd in the state of Washington and have a legitimate chance for a state championship. I believe that holding on to your goals is the only way to truly achieve happiness in your life. Never let somebody tell you what’s impossible. Follow your dreams and the struggle will turn to triumph.