I’ve had a kid evictedthe night before a game.
Didn’t show up for practiceand so I think about that and God that’s heartbreaking.
– [Coach] gotta eat, guys.
– When’s his next meal gonna be? He has to make enoughmoney to help pay the rent.
He doesn’t know where hisnext home is gonna be.
Am I gonna have back to school clothes? He doesn’t, really alludeto any of his issues.
If they run, boot that way and you’re here you gotta pick up the crosser.
Okay, that’s easy.
Here he is, trying toplay football which is an unbelievable amount of time to commit for and then he’s gotta work afterwards.
And I can’t believethat he has to do that.
That shows me how mentallytough that kid is.
We selfishly ask your presence be with us to calm our nerves sowe can play this game to the best of our abilitybut most importantly we ask when this game is overtonight each and every member of this football team can say.
I DID MY BEST! So Seneca Valley, (football team chanting) has had some, – Alright defense, here we go.
difficulties, some challenges.
(cheerleaders cheering) Well with the 2009 seasonwe went six and four which is one of the worserecords in Seneca Valley history believe it or not a winning record.
Zack we gotta replace you there.
You’re dropping back here look.
At the exit interviews that’swhen everything sort of the light bulb went off itjust was oh my goodness really? Is that what was happening? Lack of commitment, poor character.
– Here we go, here we go.
Hey, hey, hey! Because I know we have somekids that don’t have fathers or don’t have positiverole models, don’t have proper mentorship.[Neil] I never really had like a father. [Neil’s Mom] Most of his life I’vebeen a single parent.
– Things got rough onmy mom so she was like just be ready to pack thingsup and move.
stuff like that.
– No, I didn’t really knowmuch about Neil’s situation but I just knew that heneeded a place to stay.
Just like any of my friendsI already told ’em like we got three couches in the basement.
One’s always opened.
– Everybody alwaysusually stayed down there.
It’s kind of like thehangout spot, the man cave.
– Most of the time I spendmy time at my friend’s house.
– He’s pretty much family to me.
He’s another brother, like a lot of kids couldn’t through that.
– Let’s go! (football players chanting) – I play linebacker on defense and I play kickoff, which is special teams.
– Those who know his story, really do take him to heart and do learn from him.
– Guys let’s go! Come on boys, let’s get it.
– He’s a silent leader.
– DAY BY DAY- DAY BY DAY – [Coach] Alright here wego defense, here we go.
– Hey tear ’em up Moe.
(singing) Let’s go Moe.
– [Teammate] Prescot isthe type of person that he’ll mess up the coaches will get on him and he’ll just be quiet andjust fix it the next play.
– Look again another pull, another pull.
– [Neil] Let’s go, let’s go.
– So when the coaches get on me I’m quiet and I just getit right the next play.
That’s how easily it is.
– You gotta do a better job than that.
Gotta do a better job than that.
Come on let’s go! It’s third down! Will you marry me? (screaming and cheering) – The fact that Fred proposed to me at the concert in front of my students not only my students butin front of my alumni.
It was the coolest thing everjust to have them see that and have them be a part of that experience.
He will do anything forthe people that he loves and you know those football players some of them, that’s the onlypositive figure that they have.
– You gotta get over it man.
No it won’t be, it won’t be.
Change your attitude.
It’s gone be a lotdifferent I promise you.
You’re playing withheart, desire, passion man that’s what I’m looking for.
Energy, that’s what I need next week.
I remember Bob Plante who was at that time the offensive line coach and he had a man Mat McCabe that he thoughtwould be perfect for our program and everything is aboutcharacter building.[Coach McCabe] For the rest of your lifeyou have an opportunity to let your attitude andyour level of enthusiasm write a different story for yourself.
Tonight, we get to put it into practice on the football field.
We are gonna have better body language and that’s how it works in life.
That’s how it’s gonna worksome day when you have a job.
– It makes me like think aboutthings twice before I do ’em.[Football Team] Valley on three one, two, three, Valley! – Character coaches arelike really motivational.
– You know, serve thecommunity, serve the kids.
– The ACE project withwhich coach Ali started kind of came out of this.
– With the ACE projectthe intent there is to get them out in the communitylearning the power of volunteerism and giving back without expecting anything in return.
– We try to help thecommunity as much as we can.
It takes us to another level about serving the community, about being self-less not being about me but about us and about other people and Ithink that’s made a difference.
I would ask you guys to giveme a little bit more energy.
We don’t care who we play because the most important team thatwe have to play is ourselves.
– We are beating ourselves.
No one else is beating us butourselves ya’ll understand? – [Teammates] Yes.
– Get ya’ll minds right and pay attention.
– They’re good but they’renot that good alright.
They’re not better than us.
– They’re not.
– We are definitely better.
We try to tell them thisfootball team is your family.
This is an extension of your family.
– He’s my brother you know, we’re not really related – Yeah- but we dang near look like each other.
– I started making friendsand stuff like that football and then that’swhere I spent most of my time.
Basically I just love being at Seneca.
I don’t know what itis, it’s just the vibe and the friends everybody just treats each other like they loveeach other as brothers.
– Like C.
he tells us about like giving it our all like our dominate will.
– He basically teaches about our attitude about not just football but life.
– Oh yeah I eat more than you.
I’m half your size.
– He just such a good person, he’s got such a good heart.
I’m gonna cry.
You do and he’s good to everybody and he gives a thousandpercent to everybody and I look at the waythe players look at him and the connection that he has with them and he’s like their second father or their only father in some cases and he literally would just do anything for the people that he loves.
– including giving passesdon’t.
actually edit that.
– For the class, yeah.
(laughing) – Hey! – [Neil] C.
, CoachHadley my actual position coaches are like fathers to me.
Go, go go! Football made me seediscipline and structure.
– Neil is, he’s a great kid.
Beautiful smile big heart as well.
– He’s a great son anda great kid overall.
I mean I couldn’t expect anything more.
– Bye mom.
– I’ve been helping him figure out what he wants to do with his next step.
I have some connectionswith a trade school that he’s very interested in and I can just see the sparkle in his eye of just wanting to go after it and I truly hope that one day he walks into my athletic training room gives me a big hug and says”I made it Ms.
He’s an awesome kid, he really is and I hope everybody here takes a little bit piece of Neiland just keeps him close to their heart and can growand try to be like him as well.