When I was 14，a sophomore in high school, I moved out of Boston WW to live with my uncle. During my first weekend in Milford, Massachusetts, I saw my first high school football game. I had never seen anything like it. Before the game, an antique fire engine led a parade on the track around the football field while the crowd clapped and cheered. The players then thundered across a wooden bridge over a pond and burst through a banner to enter the stadium. I said to myself, “Wow, this game is for me.”
I wasn’t necessarily drawn to the game itself; I simply loved what came with the sport: respect. For me, football was an opportunity to belong to something, giving me confidence for the first time in my life. It was more of a personal thing than it was about playing football. It wasn’t so much the football, but what football did for me. Football gave me a sense of self-worth, which I’ve carried with me throughout my life.