When I look in my past for pride, one memory sticks out above the others. This was during my first season playing football for the Franklin Lakes War Eagles in 6th grade. I always used to have a strange body type. I was tall yet skinny, but I was not very coordinated. It took the coaches a while to figure out what position I would play, but eventually they put me at the lineman position, a position I would stay at for a long time.
I started off being seen as a kid who could help the team out by being on the practice lineups, but would never see playing time on the field. As time passed, I became used to practicing hard for football. I began to love the sport. I worked hard during practice, and after every practice I would put back all the pads and be the last one off of the field. The coaches knew I was working hard.
One day during practice, our coach, Coach Sacco, pulled me aside. “Josh come here.”
“I just want to inform you that you are being moved up from the ‘B’ team to the ‘A’ team and you will start for our team. Congratulations and keep working hard.”
“Thank you sir, I will not disappoint you.” From this moment on, I became determined to become successful, not only for myself but for my teammates too.
A few weeks passed by and I was in the car on my way to my first football game. My mom looked at me during the car ride. “Are you alright Josh? You are already sweating and we haven’t even gotten there yet.”
“I’m fine, just a little hot.” Really, I was just nervous. I had never played football before. Once I hit that field though, I was ready and determined. I played a great game and I knew I was going to continue to do great for my team.
Over the next nine games we gathered a record of 8-1, and we were playing great football. We were in the championship game, and we were playing against Kinnelon. We had played great games against them over a span of 3 years. Some could call us rivals, as a result of the minor injuries caused over the years. There had been fractured ribs, broken bones and physical fights. Overall though, when I looked back at being named a starter it gave me confidence and determination to play hard in this game.
The first quarter came, and we were receiving the ball. It was our first possession of the game. We had to drive about 60 yards to score a touchdown. As the clock winded down, we went the length of the field, and within the last ten seconds we scored. The score was 7-0.
The second and third quarters were next, and we were too much for them to handle. By the end of the 3rd quarter we were up 27-0 and hadn’t let them score. Finally, by the end of the game we won 34-0.
The pride we felt in ourselves was almost indescribable. We had all worked very hard over the course of about four months and it finally paid off. We all felt extreme pride, confidence, and determination, and every time I need pride, confidence, or determination I look back at this time in my life. I was proud of winning the Super Bowl and being named a starter in my first year. I was confident after coming in not knowing anything, and leaving being one of the smartest on the team. Finally, I was determined to come back and do even greater things for myself and others, because of my ability to work hard and my love for the game of football.