Hard Work Can Achieve Greatness

Austin - Michigan, Michigan
Entered on February 9, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that if you put in the work you will achieve great things. When I was a sophomore, I was on the JV football team during the year, but then got moved up for the playoffs. I was moved up and was a starter on our defense, which has been the best in the conference for years. It was a difficult week of practice. It seemed like I wasn’t even playing good anymore. The speed was faster, the players were just as good, if not better, and I knew that people were counting on me to step up and contribute to the already great defense. For the first time ever we were to host a first round home game, the first one in school history. We ended up losing in the first round of districts. They scored with just under a minute to go up 18-13. Even though we lost a couple key players, we came back in the off-season and worked that much harder to achieve a whole new level.

The following season we were conference champs for the second straight year looking to make a serious push in the playoffs. We had a more experienced group as seniors this year, with an even more experienced group on defense. I was thrown in on offense and had to block for our running back that rushed for a school record, just under 2000 yards. This team broke so many team records. Everybody thought that this would be the last year that we would be able to go anywhere in the playoffs so we had to get it done. And, yet again, we were one of the top seeds in our region for another home, first round game. We made it past the first round without a problem. And since we were a top seed, we had another home game. But that wouldn’t matter since we lost 18-13. They scored with not much time left in the game. We were unable to score again with the little time we had. With most of our starters being seniors, nobody thought that we could get it done for the third straight year.

With another season gone and past, we were back in the off-season trying to fill in many holes. We had seven returning starters, which was different from the previous years of twenty returning starters. But we went through the season breaking even more records, the only team in school history to have an undefeated season. Once playoffs came around again we were the top rated team in our region and would have at least three home games. We went through the first round with no problem. As the second round came, we were confident going in. And yet again we lost 21-13 on a game that got away from us.

From these three experiences, I have learned that you have to put in all of the extra work to achieve things nobody thought you ever could.