A Great Inspiration | Teen Ink

A Great Inspiration

October 2, 2008
By Delano Lopez, Sidney, NE

A Great Inspiration

It was another boring day in school. It was 3rd period study hall. I was so bored I grabbed the Star Herald and went straight to the sports section. The headline read, “No, he is too small.” The article was about a young running back from North Platte who wanted to go to Nebraska to play football.

The Anger inside Me

I couldn’t believe they would say that about a person wanting to play for their team. He was 5 feet and 8 inches, and he only weighed 180 pounds. His name was Danny, the best running back to come out of that part of the state in quite a while.
I was angered when I heard this. If he thought he could play a Nebraska or at any college, he should be given a chance. So, finally his chance came. Bill O, the coach at Chadron State College called Danny and asked him to give Division II football a shot. Of course Danny couldn’t turn this opportunity down. The crazy thing about Danny was that he broke every rushing record and track record in his high school. He obviously had the speed he needed, but does he have the strength? As soon as I heard he was going to Chadron, I had to go see this person everyone was talking about.

There He Is!

When the first game came around, I had my dad take me to Chadron so I could see the phenomenon of D2 college football. As soon as I got there, there he was! The 5’8” freshman from North Platte ready to dominate the field of play. The news paper was definitely right on how small he was. He had to be the smallest person on the field at that time. I was so happy to see him, but I couldn’t wait until the game actually started. He was so brave going out there and doing this. Every guy on the field had to be at least 4 or 5 inches taller than him. I actually was worried for him; he could really get hurt because of how small he was. I guess if Coach O. can believe in him so can I.

Here is the Kick!

The kickoff couldn’t have come any faster. The defense held the opponent to a 3 and out situation. The other team punted the ball, the receiver ran for about ten yards. Now its time for Danny to take the field. The quarterback Joe McClain sets his team up. He is yelling his cadence, “Ready, hut, hut, hike!” he quickly hands the ball to Danny who rushes for a good 20 yards, and gets a first down. The crowd was going crazy. I couldn’t believe how fast he really was! He looked like a man among boys on the field.No one could stop him. The second play the QB lined his team up in the same formation. This time he says hike right away and tosses the ball out to Danny. Now he’s at the 15, to the 10, now at the 5 and TOUCHDOWN! A loud cannon blows at the west side of the field, and the crowd is insane. Danny just scored his first touchdown in his college football career. I could already tell that this year will be a good one for the Eagles. Finally, after Danny streaking up and down the field time after time, the game was over. Chadron knocked off its first win of the season and Danny Woodhead had more than 150 rushing yards. This is amazing being that this was his first game in college football.

He’s helped Me So Much

The main point im trying to get across is that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. Every time im tired or sick and feel like I can’t do anything, I think of Danny proving everyone wrong that day in Chadron. He is a great inspiration to me and should be to other people who would hear this story. So when ever you are down or think you can’t do something, think of Danny. That is what I do and it helps me get through a lot of things when I’m discouraged. This is how a small running back made a HUGE impact on college football, and most of all, me.

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