Playing With The Big Boys

“I’d rather regret something I did than regret not doing something.”

Playing With The Big Boys

Dasha Dudnyk, Yalitza Pena

          Freshman Jacob Medina had the opportunity to play in RCHS JV Football this year. You would think it would be difficult to be a 14-year-old on a team with students older than you, but he replied, “It’s pretty easy.”

          Unlike most high school students that spend the majority of their spare time on the internet, Jacob likes to workout. Jacob’s day consists of eight hours of school and then follows three hours of football practice and training. Even with a packed schedule, he said that it doesn’t bother him to have to train so often.

          Football practices consist of heavy contact drills and perfecting the players’ flaws.

          Medina said,“ A good coach would always be hard on you to get you better, and they never give up on their players. A good coach is someone that is  flexible and strong at the same time. They have to be good communicators.”

          Most importantly, they have to be understandable towards the players. Coaches lately have been going easier on the players because of the big risk of injury that comes with football.

          Even though the coaches are hard on him, he couldn’t imagine his life without football.

          “Knowing that I’m getting better at the thing I love very much, and knowing I will be getting healthy and fit” is what Medina says that  drives him to get up and go training everyday.

          But Medina didn’t always like football.

          Medina said, “My mom made me play and when I started playing I became attached to the sport.”

          He began playing in sixth grade and now he has decided that he would want to take it to college level.

          Medina’s first practice wasn’t what he expected. “My first practice wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t like going to it,” Jacob said.

          He wasn’t that excited to go to practice. Slowly as the weeks went by, when he began to realize that he was getting better and better at this sport, he became actually happy, even excited to go to practice.

          When Jacob was at the River City High School’s tryouts, he didn’t expect that he would get on the junior varsity football team. He was confident about making the freshmen team, but was pleasantly surprised when he heard the news from his coach. “ I felt good about it, actually really good about it because it makes me feel like I’m good.” Yet, he still said people don’t think that he’s a good player.

          All student athletes want to make it to varsity someday, but if getting to that                   level requires so much hard work, that’s just high school. What about college?  The practice sessions are going to be even longer, the drills are going to be 10 times harder, the coaches are going to be a {100 times } more strict, and is it really all worth it?

          Maybe it’s not all even that serious, but there are also a lot of benefits from playing sports in high school. You learn many valuable lessons and skills like teamwork, fair play, and being healthy.

          All athletes have someone that they look up or idolize when they were just starting off.

          “ My sport hero is actually not a football player he plays soccer and his name is Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Jacob Medina. “ I look up to him because he’s always working hard and that makes me think if I do the same I might become like him but in football.”

          He wants to break records in the future.

          When asked , if he ever had any problems with his teammates, to which he responded that his teammates are “a bunch of funny people.”

          “There isn’t any issues because they all love competition and work (well) together.” He’s learned that getting along with everyone on the team helps him win more games, and they help each other by encouraging each other to do better.

          Even though Jacob wasn’t the biggest fan of football and didn’t like it at first , he figured out throughout the months of going to practice and playing at games that he actually liked football and in some way it made him the person that he is today. Medina said that, “ I cannot imagine his life without football in it.”

          Medina’s story should encourage you to always try new things, and if you get the opportunity to do something interesting, always take it. You’d much rather regret the things you’ve done, than the things you haven’t.