By William Ramirez, 17, Birmingham HS
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I’ve been into sports since I was a little kid. Now I’m a varsity football player at Birmingham High School. I’ve been on the team for three years, and my first two years were on the frosh-soph team. During the off-season for the past three years, I’ve done shot put.

Ever since I’ve been on the football team, I’ve learned so much more than I thought I would. Football has done great things for me. It keeps me in shape and makes me want to go to school.

One memorable thing happened during my first varsity game. We were playing Canoga Park High School, and the guy whom I had to block intimidated me. On the first play of the game, I overpowered him and then dropped him. That’s something I’ll never forget.

There’s also so much you go through as a team. You start feeling like family. You know that you have to work together to do things right. I can see how being on the team has affected my social life. You learn how to interact, not only with your teammates, but other people, too. That’s something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I’ve learned how to work with others, which is an essential thing when you get a job and have to work with others.

I’ve learned many lessons from playing football. The first is that life is hard, and if you choose the easy way out, it only gets harder. Coach always tells us that many football players become great men in our nation. For example, six of our last eight presidents were football players. Football helps them, because they’ve already been through the hard part, and now everything feels like a piece of cake to them.

Football has taught me that life doesn’t always go the way you planned it. You always plan to win a game, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Life is like that. You can plan to have a house and all that good stuff, but who knows what will really happen.

In my house, sports aren’t a big deal. I’m the only athlete in my house, and my little brother will be playing soon, too. I think sports are a great thing, because they open the gateway to a better life. It teaches you a lot and gives you many opportunities.