Indian Spotlight 2018 #7
John Paul Lewis
As a young kid, every fall Friday night revolved around one event: St. Joe football games. It was always the best part of my week, I would get to see my friends, watch football, and watch St. Joe win all at once. Nothing beat seeing the lights shine down on the field and reflect off the old St. Joe helmets. I’m not the first to attend St. Joe in my family; in fact I’m the fourth. My Dad graduated in 1980, my sister Madeline graduated in 2013, and my brother Tommy graduated in 2016. Although my dad only played football for one year and my brother never played football while at St. Joe, I feel as if I have been connected to this program for my whole life. The St. Joe football program connects the community, everyone knows about it and everyone follows it whether the team is winning or losing. It is the reason people come together on Friday nights; they come together to watch the boys and coaches that are part of this great program.
For me St. Joe football has done many things. Coming in as a wide-eyed freshman to my first football workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays during my eight-grade year I immediately felt at home. The sense of community only increased when I stepped onto the practice field for my first summer practice. The guys I met on my freshman team are some of my best friends now. As a senior and I know will be life-long friends as we go our separate ways when it comes time to attend college. St. Joe football is a home away from home. Most people dread practices for their sport, but I loved mine. I looked forward to practices because I got to see my friends and play the sport that I love. Playing for St. Joe is special, not only are you playing for yourself and your current teammates but you are also playing for those who came before you. You are playing to uphold the tradition that the players and coaches who played before you laid out. You are playing to represent St. Joe and it has been an honor to do so these past four years.
Some of my fondest memories are a result of being a member of the St. Joe football team whether it be the constant grind of practices every day, team camp during the summer, or beating Marian my senior year. All of these memories as well as the friendships I made through St Joe football will be held with me for the rest of my life. When I do eventually walk off the football field for the final time as a member of the St. Joe football team, I will be sad, but I will also be grateful for the life lessons it has taught me, the memories I have made because of it, and for St. Joe football turning me into the person I am today.