While most young men who play high school football dream about making it to the pros, Kevin Kelly knows that it’s highly unlikely he’ll make it to the NFL.
“I probably won’t, and I’m OK with that,” he said recently. “As long as I get to have fun now, I’m OK with it.”
“I’ve really progressed, and I hope to play college ball,” he said.
Kevin, a junior, attends Father Lopez in Daytona Beach with the help of a Step Up scholarship. There, he has been able to refine his athletic and academic talents. He credits the support of his team, watchful eye of his coaches, along with the reduced team size at his school, for granting him the opportunity on the field despite the highly competitive nature of football in Daytona Beach.
“At Father Lopez, I was able to start in my sophomore year,” Kevin said. “Being on a smaller team, they were able to help me more, coach me up more. The coaching was great, and my teammates were unbelievable.”
While he’s always enjoyed playing the game, Kevin didn’t always have such a passion for football. Now, it’s as if he never wants the game to end.
“When I made my first touchdown, I really didn’t want to stop,” he said.
Before Kevin learned he had to fight hard to win in football, he was taught that you have to work hard to succeed academically. Actually, he said, the lesson he learned at Sacred Heart School in New Smyrna Beach, where he attended kindergarten through eighth grade, pertains to life in general. His former math teacher, Aven Bacon, used a tough-love approach.
“She really pushed me. If I started to get lazy, she would threaten to put me in the lower class,” Kevin recalled. “That really taught me you have to work hard to get what you want.” Continue Reading →