Rant & Rave

Tuesday, January 12, 1999

Teens benefit from
devoted coach’s care

By Tom Corba


MY favorite sport is football. It has given me so many opportunities in life.

When I was about 5 years old, my dad started taking me to University of Hawaii and St. Louis games. I realized then that football gave me a rush like no other sport. Ever since, I loved the game and knew I was going to play it when I got older.

When I was about 9, I played Police Athletic League flag football because my family couldn't afford to let me play Pop Warner.

As a freshman at Kaiser High School, I joined the junior varsity team and played cornerback. As a senior, I played defensive tackle and linebacker.

In playing football I have learned to be disciplined. I had to keep my grades up, stay out of trouble, stay in shape and behave like an all-around good citizen.

If I were to steal or raise trouble around school or in my community, it would reflect poorly on the team. I had to keep my grades above a 3.0 average in order for my parents to allow me to play football.

The game has given me the motivation to do all this. If I were not involved with football, I probably would have gotten into drugs, alcohol, or I would have been in trouble a lot of the time because there's not much else to do.

Almost all of my friends smoke or drink a lot, but I avoid this because I need to stay healthy in order to play. Two of my friends stopped playing football a while ago. They got into drugs and alcohol. They were so screwed up. I saw them as losers and didn't want to become like them.

Football has given me focus. Because of the game, I feel that I am a better man today.

Tom Corba is a senior at Kaiser High School.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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