Photos By: Jennifer Helmka
Being told you can't do something can either be defeating or motivation. Tell us more about what you were told as an athlete and what you did to prove everyone wrong.
Ever since eighth grade when football became serious, I was told I wasn’t good enough to do certain things - I wasn’t strong enough, etc. Freshmen year in football I was a major contribution offensively and defensively and also played kicker, but my friends often joked that I was ONLY a kicker and over time it began to test my nerves. So my sophomore year I gained weight to play Linebacker and started many games, but I put on too much weight. People began telling me I was TOO fat and slow. Then I looked at myself in the mirror and said I’d change it. I lost 36 pounds at the end of sophomore year by planning healthy meals and working out. I went from 216 lbs. to 180 lbs. and began to mold myself into a true athlete that was more lean and fast. Junior year, I became the starting Inside Linebacker, leading a defense by myself. I led the team in tackles and was a top 5 league linebacker. I am now pursuing college football going into my senior year of high school. If people tell you you can’t do something, and you believe it, you will never be able to do that thing. But I promise if you put the work in and believe in yourself, you can make it come true.
Tell us more about yourself.
My passions consist of many simple things. I love to work out and make myself a better person. I wake up at 5am. Go to my school and lift until 7:30am. I go to school and study hard in order to keep good grades. After school I work out 3-5pm or workout then go to football or lacrosse practice depending on the season. I also love to cook, which includes my meal prepping healthy meals for the week, as I usually don’t have time to make lunches and such the nights before school. I commit myself 100% to these things that I do and will never stop. A side passion of mine is making my family proud. I promised my mom that I would become a scholarship athlete so the debt of my college education wouldn’t be all on her, and I intend to fully fulfill that promise. On weekends I love to spend time with my friends and girlfriend Larissa, who is a major key to my life. She keeps me sane mentally when I believe things are going wrong, and she never leaves my side, always encouraging me. We have the best relationship I could ever ask for in my 17 years of living. Finally, in the future I see myself possibly studying law in college and becoming a lawyer. My mom always tells me that ever since I could talk I’ve been a great at arguing/debating. The only thing is I feel like lawyers usually have little time for their families and I’m a HUGE family guy who wants to spend time with his wife and kids, so I’m not sure, we’ll see where I end up in the future.