Players have more than football on their minds

Published 10:13 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

FRANKLIN—the state title in Salem this weekend is not the only thing on the minds of some of Franklin High School’s football players. The 19 graduating seniors also are concentrating on life after Bronco football.

Tyler Childress, 17, a defensive lineman, has been concerned about his grade in physics class..

“I’m taking government, computer math and physics right now to complete my requirements for an advanced diploma so that I can get into college,” Childress said.

Childress said he if accepted, he will head to James Madison University in the fall.

“I’ve always dreamed of being a contractor of some kind, so I want to study something that will help me with that,” he said.

Running back Isaiah Hudson, 18, is also thinking about his future plans beyond Saturday’s game.

“I want to play football on the college level but, if I can’t do that, I’m going to concentrate on becoming an architect,” he said.

While optimistic, Hudson knows that only a few get to play in the National Football League, so he is directing his efforts into being accepted at Old Dominion University.

“I pretty much have been preparing as if the NFL is out of reach, so that I’ll make sure I have a future,” he said. “I’ve taken some architectural drawing classes so that I can learn more (about the field).”

Both Childress and Hudson said that football has helped prepare them for challenges that they may face in life.

“I learned that you should always keep going no matter what’s in your way, if you see a hole go through it,” Hudson said.

“I remember during my 10th grade season, we were playing Windsor and I kept fumbling the ball,” he recalled, “I was kinda shaken-up but Coach Robertson told me not to worry about it and get back out and play.”

Hudson said he went back out and played a great game and the Broncos won.

Childress said football has taught him the same lesson of perseverance.

“When I was little, I would get frustrated if I couldn’t do something. I always wanted to quit,” he said. “My parents put me in football and that (experience) has taught me that you’ve got to keep going to get better.”

The Broncos have been garnering plenty of radio, television and print media attention since going on their winning streak.

When asked about how they were holding up under all of the attention, both young men agreed that it hasn’t affected their focus.

Hudson said the team is more concerned about carrying out their mission for Dr. Charles Green, a former assistant coach, and Josh Willis, a former teammate, both of who died unexpectedly earlier this year.

“We have dedicated our season to them and we are concentrated on taking it all for their sakes,” he said.

Childress said he isn’t distracted.

“We can’t worry about all that until after we win the game,” he said. “Right now, we are just focused on going to school and winning this Saturday.”