Five years ago, when we where having problems recruiting guys for our practice squad and even for the football team I general, I came up with the idea of reaching out to all the rural schools that we usually did not scout and let there coaches send us there best senior players (2 max). They where invited to attend our normal camp and then stay for an extra week of training. It was made clear that this was an opportunity for us to see them in action and should not be taken lightly.
Since it was my idea I was I charge, and it worked. During the week I was able to identify tiny kids who we then targeted and recruited, most did not get scholarships but a garnered spot on the team and the perks of being on the team were pretty good incentives. There where the ocarina diamonds in the rough, amazing kids from rural towns who would have never been found if not for the program. There where also thous kids who could have been diamonds if they where given the opportunity, this kid for example.
He was not the fastest, strongest, toughest, or biggest kid we had ever seen but he had the heart. He was a real life Rudy, taking on kids twice his size and giving it his all. He was big enough, but he had no weight room, he had to help run the failing family farm, and because the farm was failing he only got school breakfast and lunch, dinner was only served on weekends or holidays at his house. But man did this kid love football. I could not turn my back on him, just having him around made everyone better, he gave his best and demanded the Sam from everyone else. So I talked to our head coach, Ad, admissions, and anyone else who would listen.
At the end of camp, I asked him to come see me with his parents before he left. They came in, all just as skin and malnourished as he had been before camp. I looked at the dad and said “sir, you have raised an amazing boy, and I want him on this team next year, but he has a lot of work and if he’s going to make it we need to help him, you, and your community,” the dad look very puzzled, “you done she’d with me your problems and I know your not one to take handouts so here is my offer, all of this for the promise that your son will apply for school here. Now I had our agg. Department look at your farm, here is what they found.” I handed him a 50 page report explains I detail what he need to do to turn the farm around. He look amazed, so I waited and then continued, “I also have these, there letters from various companies offering there support to your high-school football program. If you say yes and your school agrees these companies will build and outfit a new record center for your community. Finally, and I’m screwing some ncaa rules but, he needs to eat a lot more and a lot healthier. So there is a family down the street, they have been part of our booster club for years and one of them is a dietitian, she’ll work with you on your diet and when I say that I mean she’ll clock you food all you do is eat everything your given, she even said she would feed the family until the farm is up again, she had no idea you where in so much trouble. ” the dad did not look happy about this but did not say anything, ” your some also needs more time on the field and just working out, his coach is willing to come to school early and say late, so he can workout. Hell also do sat prep with him so we can get him accepted here. So what do you say sir, son? You want to play ball for us? “
The kid looked at the dad with a look that read, dad for once swallow your pride and accept the man’s help, the mom was about to pass out and his sister was gorgon her self of some trail mix I keep in the office. Then the dad said, it’s up to him, which the kid jumped up and said absolutely, would not dream of going anywhere else.
I put a lot of effort in to this kid, I never dreamed that when I went to go see him during playoffs he was even the same kid, he still played with the drive he always had but now he had the straight and speed to back up his will, I sweetened my deal after that with a scholarship, he earned it. By the time he arrived to spring camp for the collage he was in amazing shape, he had really put in the effort. I was amazed when he walked up to me and said “thank you sir, without you, I would still be home, you changed everything”
Everything was great for a long time, we had a good relationship, then one day I sliced up, I let it slide that I was gay. Anyone else on the team would have flipped out, let’s face it football and hemophilia go hand in had, but he surprised me again and told me two things both of which changed everything. He told me he was gay too and that as far as he was concerned I owned me so if I ever wanted anything I should just ask.
I was surprised by his offer and ignored it for the longest time, but then he started doing things for me, little things to start with then he offer to mow my yard, help around the house, clean my pool, then one night we where hanging out in the gym as we often did and he just came out and asked me “sir, I just wanted to let you know if you ever need anything all you need to do is ask”
“you said that before what do you mean”
“you want the dishes done I’m there, someone to spot you I’m there, you want brackets I’ll cook it, you need a release I’m available, ” that last one he said as he winked.
Again I was taken back, but I this time I gave it more thought. I did love the kid, I had dreams about him, but it would be inappropriate, what would the school think, then I said what I was feeling, “do you want to serve me because you feel like you owe me for what I did? Would you still fell that way if you where just like any other guy, would you still make you offer?”
We did a few more sets in silence and then he said “yes… I probably would… Coach I’m.. ”
I cut him off before he could say it, “don’t, we can’t, I’m your coach, when you graduate if you still feel this way well talk, because for now let’s just say I’m open to the idea”
He smiled, he continued to do favors for me but never brought up it up again till the day after graduation. That was the day I finally agreed, I rented him my downstairs apartment, he was staying at the University for a master, and we dated. It was not long till we where very happy together, he is still my jock to this day, and now I can confess I loved him since the day we meet, and he will tell you he loved me too.