How one injury led me down the right path

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My sophomore year in high school, I attempted to play varsity football. I had played for my middle school and freshman teams so I decided that it was only logical to continue on to junior varsity and beyond.

The only problem was I wasn’t good. At all. I knew it, my parents knew it and the coaches knew it. Then it happened: the one play that sent reality down on me in an extremely painful way.

I was a receiver and running across the field looking at the quarterback during practice and before I knew it, the shoulder of a future Southeastern Conference linebacker sent me flying into the air and I landed hard on my back. The injury wasn’t severe enough to require surgery but it definitively finished any hope of playing a contact sport again. Probably for the better.

For the next few weeks, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after school. None of the activities seemed to fit me. I was approached by the editor of our high school paper, who was a friend of mine, and he offered me the sportswriter position. I figured if I can’t play sports might as well write about it.

It was a life-defining decision and I haven’t looked back since making it. I went to college at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where I covered football, men’s and women’s basketball, tennis and more. Covering Division I athletics was a welcomed challenge and it was indeed a challenge.

The thing I love most about being a sportswriter is it allows for so many people to tell their stories that otherwise would go unheard.

There was a tennis player I interviewed once who was born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand but plays for the English national team. I got to tell the story of how a man went from being a stock broker for Lehman Brothers to the head football coach at a Fort Worth high school.

To be able to communicate these people’s incredible stories is not only a passion for me, it’s an honor, and that is exactly what I hope to do in Sealy. One of the things that attracted me to this job was the small-town feeling here and the sense of pride the people of Sealy take in that feeling.

Football is a passion for many down here, including myself, and that makes it even more exciting to be able to cover it for our readers. I’ve already sat down with Coach Mobley and he was the very meaning of professional and open.

There’s a quote I’m really fond of by American judge Earl Warren: “I always turn to the sports pages first, which records people’s accomplishments.” That is what I intend to do. I want to take the accomplishments of the many great athletes and coaches here in Sealy and give them the recognition they deserve.

Thank you all for the opportunity to do so and I’m excited to get started.

Tad Desai covers sports and education for The Sealy News. He can be reached at (979) 885-3562 or sports@sealynews.com.

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