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The game will always be a part of me
|Posted Nov. 9, 2007|
As a senior, it is a feeling that I am not going to be able to explain until it is all said and done. And for the other 14 seniors on the La Verne football team, they might share the same feeling as well.
With this I mean that we will be playing our last game of football for possibly the rest of our lives tomorrow afternoon. Many of us have been playing football for four or more years including their playing careers in high school, junior college or at ULV.
But for me, playing football here for the last two years has been an experience unique in itself since it contrasts the background of several of my teammates.
For one I had only played basketball, volleyball and tennis in high school before coming to La Verne in 2004. Although I enjoyed some success in basketball, it never was the same for me after my senior year.
After high school, I came to La Verne with no intention of playing sports, let alone football. Still a year later, I met many of the members of the football team and some that are still on the team today. Their friendliness and camaraderie made me want to be part of a team again. I realized that what I enjoyed the most about sports was just being part of the team.
So I decided to embark on a journey to become a member of the team in 2006. Despite never playing a down of tackle football in high school, recreation leagues or even in Pop Warner, I figured I could try my best to play the sport. However I never could have anticipated the amount of hard work, dedication and sacrifice it took to be a player. After working and surviving through spring lifts and practices, I finally attained my goal when we entered camp three months later.
When I reminisce on those memories today, I know they were some of the biggest challenges and obstacles I had overcome in my life. I remember how hard it was trying to get into shape, earn the respect of the guys and coaches, to do the drills and lifts correctly and show up every day we had training.
Yet the one thing I took with me and still remember when I play was a senior telling me, “No matter how hard it is, you can do it because it is all in your head. Physically you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Now a year later, I have finally seen the work I put in the off-season and the year before start to pay off. I started to understand the amount of effort, physicality and determination needed to play the game through myself and the rest of my teammates. In addition I finally felt like a prominent part of the team as I started four games at offensive tackle throughout this season.
However, it is nothing compared to what it has meant to be part of this team these last two years. It is true that the program has gone through changes in coaching, players and philosophy, but I still feel that I have learned and grown through all of it. And recently I am starting to finally understand what it like to be a football player and a collegiate athlete and recognize that these experiences have shaped me for success later in life.
For that I can only thank my family, friends and all of the coaches and teammates I have had these past two seasons for supporting me and helping me get to where I am today. Even though I may not know that feeling when it’s all over on Saturday, I am starting to get the idea of what it might feel like now.
Galo Pesantes, a senior journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.