Yolanda Belman, Writer

    Santa Ana High School’s football team is a pillar in the Saint community. The Friday night football games at the Santa Ana Bowl and their boisterous homecoming games are filled with school spirit. As well as their hardworking and passionate players that strive to place in CIF. Overall, football is the most talked about and supported sport in school, but often times much of the public disregards the football players. These are students who balance academics and lengthy athletic schedules. These are students who return home late and still have heaps of homework to complete. 

   One of these honorable football players is senior Adam Martinez. Adam plays defensive tackle. When asked what motivated him to join football was because it was a sport he grew up watching. Yet there is no denying the fact that football limits and inhibits much of Adam’s time. When asked how he handles missing out on activities with friends Adam had this to say, “Well I try to find time but I do not stress about it because the team is my biggest group of friends.” Since much of Adam’s friends stem from his team. 

   When asked about teamwork and what he’s learned from it Adam stated, “teamwork is essential, communication is the key to success. If one person does not do their job, everyone is affected. It made me become a more vocal leader which elevated my game.” As for the overall sport Adam learned leadership skills and since his teammates look up to him that heightened his leadership skills. Overall Adam has faced numerous benefits from football but there is no denying that the sport does bring hardships as well. Some challenges that Adam faces are he often felt like giving up he further explained that it was due to, “not getting much playing time.”

Another one of these admirable football players is junior Khailup Garcia. Khailup’s (positions on the team are quarterback and receiver) is the football team’s quarterback and receiver. Khailup was motivated to join football due to his weight more specifically he stated, “in 8th grade I was ’till pretty skinny and small.” Khailup wanted to show everyone that, “even though you’re skinny and small, you can still do what others can as long as you push yourself and keep your head up high.” A sport requires much of the athletes time, which can often times interfere with the students social life. In regards to that Khailup states, “It does bring me down because sometimes I can’t even be with my family, but we all have to make sacrifices for the things we love and I love this sport.” When asked about teamwork and skills he’s developed from being a part of the team Khailup explained the duality of teamwork. He emphasized, “teamwork is not just about working together, it’s about knowing who is in your team and knowing more about that person. Football has not only made me a better player, but a better person as well. It has showed me to be more respectful and help out in the community.” When asked about the academic benefits and drawbacks due to football Khailup explained that is is difficult to keep up academically especially after a long day at practice and coming home to piles of homework that must be completed. Yet football has taught Khailup to be disciplined enough to sacrifice a good night’s sleep in order to keep up with academics.

For those who plan to join football next school year Adam gives this advice, “work harder than the person next to you. Don’t let experience define you. Put in more work even when you’re supposed to rest. Be patient and vocal.” When asked the same question Khailup stated, “Keep going on no matter how big or small you are. Football is a very competitive sport and the best thing you can do is remind yourself that this is a difficult sport that not everybody can do. So when you’re out on the field with your teammates you are part of that 10% that is willing to put time and effort. I advise you to practice perseverance, have hope, and work hard.”