Indian Football Spotlight Charlie McFadden Senior OLB #29
Over the last four years, Saint Joe Football is something that has grown very close to my heart. Through my experience, I have learned life lessons that I will hold with me always. Though these lessons were taught to me specifically in football, they have inculcated in me much more about life than what happens on the gridiron. So, here are three of the most important lessons I have taken away through my time in the program.
The first lesson that Saint Joe Football taught me about life is that good things only happen when you have the will to achieve them. My sophomore year, our team was replete with incredible athletes. I expected our schedule to be win after win after win. I was surprised, then, when the regular season ended and we were under .500. The problem was that we lacked purpose—we couldn’t find a common goal to work towards. It was only in the playoffs that the team found a reason to work harder, and it made all the difference. The seniors realized that going to state was worth working for, and because of that will to achieve, they made it as far as they did. In short, if you want to achieve something, you must have the determination to work for it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
The second life lesson I’ve Iearned from Saint Joe Football is to not judge others by what they look like, but rather by how big their heart is. My brother Sean, who was a senior when I was a freshman, was 5’8 ½ and a whopping 150 pounds. On top of this, he played his whole senior season with two torn labrums and a torn rotator cuff. If you look at him, you would never think he could do anything of importance on a football field. But because Sean had an insatiable determination to win, all of his physical shortcomings fell by the wayside. He was 2nd on his team in defensive points, and was named All-Conference Honorable Mention. Watching Sean achieve what he did with what little size he had taught me this valuable lesson about life—and showed me that without the impetus to succeed—all of the greatest physical gifts God has given us means nothing.
The third and final life lesson that playing Saint Joe football has instilled in me is to never take the little things for granted. Over the course of my time in the program I have suffered 3 concussions, 4 sprained ankles, one slightly broken back and a sprained shoulder. Needless to say, I have missed many practices due to my injuries. Even though practice seemed like a drag sometimes when I was healthy, sitting out and watching it was so much worse. I realized that the all the drills, even the sprints, were something I missed. Overall, Saint Joe Football taught me the importance of cherishing the little things. That however bad life’s little struggles may seem, they are worth enduring.
In conclusion, Saint Joe Football—the coaches, my teammates, the sport in general—has taught me many lessons about life, and has made me into the man I am today. For that, I am forever indebted to this great program.