April 22, 2019

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"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

Diamonds in the Rough: Antonio Blanch Jr

High school football not teaches individuals how to work together towards a common goal, it teaches certain things that we can apply in our life even after we hang up the pads. Antonio Blanch Jr, a linebacker at Bastrop High School in Bastrop Louisiana, gives football the credit for making him the man he is today. “Football taught me how to work when no one was lookin'”, Brown knew that to see progress on Friday nights, he would have to put in extra work. Antonio described himself as a “selfless player”. Needing more clarification on what he meant, he told me how he can play whatever position he was put at and respected all of his coaches.

Athletes like him are hard to come by because they understand that this game is bigger than themselves. It shows that football has helped Blanch in handling things in a mature manner which is great to see. On top of that, knowing that he is coachable and willing to carry out assignments without trouble is another key trait that will take him far in life. There’s no question that Blanch loves the sport of football. Blanch’s favorite moment was on punt return, “I went for the kick but I missed, so I got up and saw our returner catch and then fumble the ball. One of our other players picked it up and started running. So I looked to go make a block, and I don’t know how but I blocked so many people in that small amount of time. It was awesome”.

He’s a type of guy that any coach would love to have just for the shear fact that he’s all about the team and not for himself. During the bowl game, Brown accounted for 9 tackles in which 6 were solos and 3 were assists. The best part about this kid is that he naturally loves this game. He’s not in love with what this game can do for him or how far it can take him but he just loves the game. Brown even told me that he has aspirations of coaching after his playing career is over. “Yeah, I can see myself being coach, probably a linebacker coach.” This kid is someone that should not be overlooked but highly considered.