Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.
Throughout the 2017-18 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.
Every competitive athlete has dreams of playing at the next level. However, those dreams can quickly turn into nightmares. All it takes is one snap of the finger, or in my case, my knee to turn everything upside down. I was just like any other person wanting to play sports at the D1 level. When I tore my ACL, it felt like my dreams were being stripped away. My self-confidence was at an all-time low, and I questioned the value of my future if I couldn’t continue playing the game I’m so passionate for.
Being a man of faith, I knew that was the key to making a strong recovery. I know God has a plan for me and that a severe injury like an ACL was just a setback for greater things. I knew I had to put my trust in His plan and do what I needed to do to recover.
For those who don’t know, I have two bible verses as tattoos: Isaiah 41:10 on my ribs and Psalm 23 in Hebrew on my tricep. The one on my ribs says: “So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be in dismay for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I truly believe I was upheld and strengthened to persevere through the long months. This verse was a daily reminder that I could push through this obstacle and get back to my place on the field.
From the start, I had no confidence and had to miss an entire month of school to recover. However, it was nice to be able to do my work at 2 a.m. and sleep until noon almost every day. Now, I am almost nine months out from recovery and I’m brimming with excitement for what’s to come. I have no problems with my knee except that I’m winded after a couple minutes into a small-sided game at practice. Despite everything, I’m set to play in England and pursue my dreams of playing overseas.
I knew my faith and continued trust in God would lead me to places to be successful. I never knew that it would lead me here to Shattuck. Originally, I declined coming here because I felt I could reach the next level with my club team, which was nationally ranked at the time. When that fell apart, however, all the arrows pointed to Shattuck. I knew this was the place I needed to be, even if it meant switching schools in the middle of the year. And, on my first day here, Mr. Cav had me stand up in front of the whole upper school to introduce me. Since then, I have grown not just as a soccer player, but as an individual and made countless friendships with my teammates and piers. My faith is what has driven me and will continue to push me through the rest of my life. Just remember, God’s plan.
I’m extremely grateful for all the support and the people that have been placed around me. To my teammates, you guys have been my second family and have always pushed me to a higher level. Mom, you have always given me wisdom when I’m completely clueless on a situation and look out for me even when I’m thousands of miles away by sending me food in the mail. Dad, you set the example for hard work as you would rush home from work to coach me and make sure my priorities are straight. Christian, you’re not just my older brother, but my role model. I can always come to you when I need someone to talk to. I love you all and I’m blessed to have you.