“I thought it would never happen,” Broome said. “It’s tough to keep coming back when all you’re doing is losing.”
Did they ever consider quitting? Of course they did.
“The four seniors, we’ve talked a lot and talked about those times we wanted to leave and when we didn’t think it would be worth it,” Walls said.
Said Thornbury, “The way I was brought up, I would never quit in the middle of the season. I did hesitate at the start of this season, but I ended up playing because I knew it was the right thing to do.”
Thornbury didn’t get to play Friday; he’s out for the rest of the season after a fracture to his tibial plateau and torn meniscus in his knee from the first game versus Coahulla Creek. And none of the other three scored either of the two touchdowns — quarterback Justin “Jug” Smith handled that just fine.
However, touchdowns and wins are “bonuses,” Walls said. It’s not giving up and being part of the solution, even if your life isn’t perfect.
“The real prize is being with the team I’ve grown up with for the last four years and being part of a senior class that I feel will turn around our luck,” Walls said.
There will be more struggles in life — bigger ones than football — for those four men, and I call them “men” because they are just that. I said earlier they left the field Friday as winners. Truth is, they won every time they came back for a Monday practice following a loss. Heart isn’t determined by how many times you knock someone down, but by how many times you get up after being knocked down.
And to make it through life, you need a lot of heart, because you’ll need to have the strength to keep fighting after getting knocked down.
“It’s only human nature to say, ‘Here we go again. Another head coach. Do I really want to do this? I can go get a job and make money.’ There’s so much other stuff to do but they stuck with it and I have an unbelievable amount of respect for them,” Brewer said. “Those guys will become good people. I know they will become good dads, good husbands and do good at work. That’s what we need in the world.”
Everyone, including me, has problems. It could be finances, family, job, appearance, substance abuse, friendships or whatever.
It could be fighting to keep something or someone you don’t want to let go, or fighting to get rid of something or someone you don’t need.
For a lot of us, the problems seem tough. They seem hard. It seems like we’ll never get through them. We feel lost and hopeless. And, at times, we want to give up fighting. We want to quit.
But Zach Broome, Seth Gilbert, Clayton Thornbury and Jordan Walls didn’t quit.
So let’s follow their example. Eventually, just like them, you’ll find yourself in the victory formation.
Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Write to him at email@example.com.