Adversity is something that we all deal with in life, whether it is on or off of the field . In a time like now, we are all dealing with adversity with the Coronavirus disease becoming a pandemic. People are reacting to in different ways , as it affects us all differently.
I attended 3 different colleges , with the second one I attended being shut down forever and the last one I had my senior year cut short due to COVID-19. So, yes I have dealt with adversity and I am going to tell you why it is worth it to come back from it and to KEEP GOING.
The adversity I faced in college has shaped me into who I am today. Any part of my experience (good or bad) I love to use it to help others to help prepare them to achieve their goals or if they face hardship.
My senior year of high school at Xaverian Brothers, I was able to experience a lot of individual and team success. I became my teams starting quarterback and was able to help leads us to a 12-0 record and division one state championship. We were the top team in Massachusetts and even one of the best in the country. It was a unbelievable experience to be apart of. In fact, my 4 years of high school my class had a combined record of 44-2.
When it came to making my college decision , I wanted to attend a school that had a lot of success, similar to my high school. The school that really stuck out to me in the recruiting process was Western New England University. They were coming off of a undefeated season and were the top team in New England and one of the best in the country. They also offered a great Sports Management program , so it seemed like a great option for me .
I decided to attend Western New England, however , it did not end up how I thought it would. By the start of the season I was low on the depth chart as a quarterback . Realizing at the the time that it would be tough for me to get on the field as a QB, I decided I wanted to play someway. My best shot was to long snap. I knew I worked too hard in the off season to just stand on the sideline during games and I wanted to contribute to my team in some way. So a suggestion I have is to to always be versatile as an athlete because it may open unexpected doors for you.
So, for the rest of the season I was the teams starting long snapper and performed well there. Our team finished the season going 11-1. We were 10-0 in the regular season and won our conference championship. Being apart of that run was special. Playing in two college football playoff games was a unique experience I will never forget. However , after the season the coaches wanted to change my position to running back. I had worked my butt off at quarterback and to switch my position at that point was not something that I wanted to do.
After I got asked to switch positions , I decided to transfer to Mount Ida College. This was not an easy decision for me as I made some good friends at Western New England and enjoyed my experience. But, I decided that I wanted more. I wanted to be a college quarterback and coach Mike Landers at Mount Ida was giving me that opportunity.
I transferred into Mount Ida for the second semester of my freshman year . Going to a school as a transfer is not easy. I basically had to start all over with making friends with my teammates and getting to know my coaches and other people around campus. I knew keeping a open mind was the best thing to do and it would be how I got used to the school.
During our spring football season I was our only quarterback, so I was able to get a lot of reps. It was great for me to get some comfort with my teammates and coaches. I was able to carry this momentum into fall camp and I won the starting QB job. This came after a lot of long days and nights of sacrifice the tough grind of doing the necessary training to be a college football player .
I am not going to get too much into how the whole season went , but there is something from the first game that I would like to mention. Our first game that season would be my first ever college football start at QB . I had a lot of excitement going into the game . I was not sure exactly what to expect as this was a new role to me. I definitely got my welcome to college football that game. It was 3rd and 14 and we had a four vertical play called. Well, the video below explains the rest...
Looking back at this video, I'm not sure how I got up from that. That was a 6'4 230 pound linebacker coming untouched up the A gap. The thing that did get me up was the fear of letting my brothers on the field down. I knew I had to get up because they were relying on me. This is another great point for life. Sometimes you might get smacked in the face unexpectedly but you have to find a way to get back up and finish the mission.
Fast forward a little bit to the spring semester now. We were all grinding hard in the weight room getting ready for the next season. We were expecting to be better than the previous season and everyone's commitment to getting better made me think that we would defiantly be a better team. But unfortunately , we were never able to see the results. On April 6th at 12:00 PM , the entire school received an email telling us that the University of Massachusetts was buying our campus and that Mount Ida as a school would no longer exist.
We were all blindsided by this. At no point did we have any indication that the school would be shut down . So many students and faculty at the school loved it there and it made us all angry and upset. Personally, I found Mount Ida to be my home and I was going to finish out college there. This news also gave us all uncertainty as to where we would now go to school. At this point in the semester it was especially hard considering other institutions already had their incoming freshman classes and other transfer students . Sports teams already had all of their recruits planned out for the season.
A lot of us had to go our own ways to new colleges. There ended up being eight football players from Mount Ida that decided to attend Nichols College. It was nice having some familiar faces that I knew . But, it was also tough being a new guy again . I also had to win a starting job at QB .
All of the lessons I had learned from the adversity I faced brought me to being able to win a starting job at my third college. There is one quote that the great Winston Churchill said "If you're going through hell, keep going. I have always kept this in mind whenever I face adversity.
My 2 years at Nichols were amazing . I could not be happier that I decided to attend there. I was able to be the QB for two years, made life long friends and connections and I was very involved around campus. I could not be more grateful to this school ,as they gave me a new home and most importantly a new family.
Unfortunately , my experience at Nichols got cut short with the current state of the nation as it relates to the Coronavirus. The second half of the semester got cancelled. This was extremely upsetting for the senior class as we just wanted to finish our time at the school we loved. For me , it even felt a little bit like Mount Ida closing. Just not being able to finish out at the place you love.
As I stated at the beginning of the blog, my experiences have shaped me. At the end of the day I had an extremely unique college experience that taught me a lot. I was also able to play 4 year of college football, win a conference championship, break school records and start my own business doing something I love. I do not have regrets on my experience and I wouldn't trade it for another one.