JV FOOTBALL @ CANTWELL
LOCATION: CANTWELL HIGH SCHOOL
Growing up, my younger brother, the more athletic one of the family. played on numerous travel basketball teams prior to him being the starting varsity point guard for Salesian from 2004-2006. I remember the countless games and rides home where my dad would lecture him on his performance. My father, a good man, was also his coach on some of these teams which could serve as a double whammy at times. For the most part, the interaction was positive but I can recall times where it was frustrating enough where my brother would shutdown.
As I was sitting at my desk checking emails this morning I came across this great article. Even though it is constructed around youth sports, I feel this fits nicely into the high school setting. Having been around sports the last 25 years as an athlete, coach, and currently as a high school athletic director and college basketball official, I hear a lot coming from the stands when it comes to an athletes performance. Whether it’s youth sports or high school athletics, we as adults have to encourage our athletes instead of coaching them from the stands and critiquing them on the way home. I’m not saying critiquing is bad, but we just have to know when it’s appropriate.
The letter below is great read. I hope you enjoy it.
An Open Letter to My Dad, who Makes Me Want to Quit Sports
I was afraid to say this to your face after the game today, but I was thinking that maybe you could stop coming to my games for a while. It doesn’t seem that fun for you anyway, and I know it’s not fun for me when you are there. I used to love when you watched my play when I was younger, but now, I wish you weren’t there. I think I am starting to hate playing soccer. I might quit. I bet you are wondering why.
I heard you in the stands today during my soccer game. I was going to say I heard you cheering, but that wasn’t really what you were doing. You were coaching. You were yelling about the other team, the other coaches, and at the officials. I also heard you yelling at me every time I got the ball.
I believe you think you are helping, but you are not. You are confusing me.
It’s confusing when you coach me from the sideline. When I play soccer, I feel like I have to make so many decisions at a time. Should I dribble or pass? Should I cross or shoot? Should I step up or stay back? Where are my teammates? Where are the defenders? I am trying to figure all these things out while out of breath, and fighting off defenders. With all this going on, you want me to listen to you, too? It seems no matter what I do, whether good or bad, you continue to yell at me. It is impossible to listen to you and play the game at the same time.
It is confusing when you and the coach shout instructions at the same time. I can’t listen to both of you. Many times the things you say contradict what the coach teaches me at practice. My coach is trying to get me to pass it out of the back, but you keep yelling at me to kick it long. My coach encourages me to dribble past players, but you tell me to get rid of it when I try to dribble. My coach tells me to pass the ball to feet, but you tell me to kick it over the top and our forwards will chase it down. I either get yelled at by my coach, or by you. To make matters worse, sometimes the other parents join in and yell, too! I am so stressed out there. It’s not a very good feeling.
It’s confusing to me when you yell at the officials, especially since you teach me to respect teachers, coaches and my elders. Dad, some of these referees are kids that go to my school. I see them at lunch and in the halls and I am so embarrassed. Would you yell at me like that if I was a new referee? Even when the officials are right, and you are standing 50 yards away, you yell at them. I wish you would just let the game play out and let me and my coach handle what is going on.
It’s confusing when you are still upset about the loss hours after a game. How long is it appropriate to be sad and angry? I mean, I am the one who played, right? We are supposed to win some and lose some if we play good teams, right? We got beat, but now we have to move on and get ready for the next game. I am not sure how staying angry will help me get better for the next game. I certainly don’t feel like learning much immediately after a loss. The best thing you can do after a game is tell me you are proud of me for competing, and showing good sportsmanship, and that you love to watch me play. What are we going to eat is helpful too. But that’s all. I can get better next practice.
It’s confusing when you talk badly about my coach in front of me. You tell me to respect my coach and listen to what he says, but then I hear you and other parents say he doesn’t know what he is doing. My friends say that their dads tell them not to listen to the coach, and they don’t know who to listen to anymore. No wonder our coach gets so frustrated with us.
It’s confusing when you talk badly about my teammates in front of me. I know some of my teammates aren’t as fast, or as strong, or don’t kick as well, but they are my friends, Dad. In school, they teach me that I should treat everyone with respect, but then you disrespect my teammates right in front of me. I wish you would try to see the good in my friends instead of pointing out their faults.
It’s confusing when you yell and scream at mistakes and act like playing soccer is an easy thing to do. I am not sure if you remember what it was like to be a player. Do you remember what it was like to be going through a growth spurt, and feeling awkward when you try to run and jump (never mind the sore knees)? Do you remember how hard it was to learn to trap or pass a soccer ball, or for that matter hit a baseball, or catch a fly ball? Sometimes you try your very best, and still get it wrong. It doesn’t help or make me feel any better about my mistake when you yell at me for it, or tell me to “get my head in the game.” What does that mean, anyway? You yell things and most of the time I have no idea what you are talking about.
Dad, I don’t want to tell you how to parent or anything, but sometimes I feel like your love is conditional upon how the game goes.
When we win, everything is great, but whenever we lose, or I have a bad game, it seems like you hate me. I wish I was riding home with someone else, and not you. I think it’s because you keep talking about the game when I don’t want to. You go over every mistake. Even when we win, all I hear about is what went wrong. If you talked about the game at dinner, or the next morning, it would be fine, but please, not on the car ride home.
I certainly appreciate all the time and money you spend to let me play. But sometimes it feels like we are out there playing just to entertain the adults. We just want to play. And we want you to watch if you can do so without yelling at the refs, screaming at other parents, and coaching from the stands.
Could you do that for me dad? Could you just come, watch the game quietly, and then not talk about it on the ride home? If you can, I would love for you to come.
But if you can’t, I would prefer if you just dropped me off and let me play.
Dad, I love sports, I love my team, and I love my teammates. I want to play with these guys forever, but not if it makes you hate me and angry at me all the time. Not if it makes me feel worse about myself.
Please let me know what you decide. I love you.
The JV Football team opened their 2016 season with bang, defeating Verbum Dei 14-12 in an intense game from the opening kickoff. Trailing 12-0 Midway in the third quarter, the Mustangs recovered a muffed punt at the Verbum Dei 35 yard line. Two plays later, sophomore Sean Aldana broke two eagle tackles to put the Mustangs on the board. After a failed two point conversion, the Mustangs trailed 12-16
In the 4th quarter, the Mustang defense came alive, holding Verbum Dei on two big 4th down possessions in their own territory. With 8:45 left and Verbum Dei on their own 15 yard line, sophomore Enrique Santana intercepted an Eagles pass for a 25 yard touchdown which tied the game at 12. Freshman, Domingo Landson converted the two point conversion,putting the Mustangs on top 14-12. The defense held for the remainder of the game sending the JV team home with their first win of the 2016 season.
The Varsity football team will be playing at Keegan Stadium this Saturday at 4pm. Both teams will be in action on the road next week against Calabasas High School.
Deommodore Lenoir (Eric Sondheimer)
Deommodore Lenoir was in his sophomore theology class at Los Angeles Salesian High two years ago when he was asked to step outside.
That’s when he learned a recruiter from Tennessee had become the first person to offer him a football scholarship.
“I just broke down in tears,” he said. “It was like a dream come true. I called my mom, my dad, all my family members. It was a great moment because it felt like all the hard work I put in finally paid off.”
By early summer, Lenoir’s scholarship offers had reached 36. And for good reason. He’s a 6-foot, 185-pound senior defensive back with blazing speed, strong arms and a passion to succeed.
He’s also only 16, and won’t turn 17 until October, meaning there’s lots of room for physical improvement. He has a 3.5 grade-point average and avoids drama on and off the field.
His father is a construction worker, and his mother works at home. Both have stressed education and knowing right from wrong.
“Growing up in South Los Angeles taught me a lot,” he said. “It taught me to stay focused in order to be able to go where I want to go, and that’s to the NFL. You have to stay in the classroom and do what you’re told to do.”
He has attended Catholic schools since kindergarten, when he enrolled at the Marie Regina School in Gardena.
“It taught me a lot about God,” he said.
And he learned about nuns.
“You’d speak when spoken to,” he said.
No nun ever needed to take a ruler and slap his hand to get his attention.
L.A. Salesian senior is determined to succeed
He has the speed to run away from any pursuer. Last season, he returned kickoffs for touchdowns against Loyola, Pasadena Muir, La Cañada St. Francis, Pasadena La Salle and Studio City Harvard-Westlake.
He’s in such good shape that taking a rest after a touchdown of 60 yards or more was out of the question. Back he’d go on the field to play defense. He is projected as a cornerback in college — he has committed to Oregon — and what a coverman he should be.
When playing man-to-man defense, Lenoir’s strength allows him to make it difficult for receivers to leave freely off the line of scrimmage. And his speed gives him quick recovery time.
“He’s a different kind of kid,” Salesian Coach Angelo Jackson said.
Lenoir enjoys one-on-one battles even though the loser can end up looking pretty bad.
“You have to have fast feet,” he said. “You have to be good with your hands and be able to move with the receiver and watch their hips. I love it. It shows me that I’m better than you. And if you say you’re better than me, you’re going to have to prove it.”
Whether he’s at receiver, running back, safety or cornerback, Lenoir will be a player to watch this fall. And his work ethic and commitment to succeed will come out loud and clear.
“When you don’t come from very much, you have to take the time out and honor what you have and do what you’re told and be hungry and humble,” he said.
The Quarterback Dads Club would like to invite you to the join them for the 2016 Football Season! The QB dads are responsible for the following along with other additional duties:
The Quarterback Dads meeting will be held on Tuesday July 26, 5pm in the Multi-Purpose Room. For more information / RSVP for Tuesdays meeting, please contact Quarterback Dad President, Mr. Joe Quezada at Joe64q@msn.com . We hope to see you there!
(may be made in three (3) $100 payments by the following dates)
Payment 1: July 27 (must be made before pads are distributed)
Payment 2: August 10
Payment 3: August 24 (Full fee must be paid prior to first game against Verbum Dei)
All Payments are to be made in the finance office. Don’t give money to coaches.