“Do you know J____ (JJ) S ______?” coach asked.
“No, should I?” I replied.
“Probably. He’s on his way to being booted from the team* permanently.”
“So, what’s the issue?”
“Major attitude problem.”
“Does he have (college-level) potential?”
“Has been a walk-on since his freshman year.”
“Send him to my classroom Wednesday.”
And so it began: The JJ Project, a process to help a young man find his way back to a place he belongs and to a future he desperately needs.
He had no idea what he was in for, who this teacher-lady was, or why he was even there, but words of encouragement from teammates helped him understand:
“Trust her, dude. She’s good people. You can trust her. She won’t lie to you. She won’t sugar-coat things either.” (Awesome young men! Offered to help me stage an Intervention Meeting.)
Thank you, JJ, for trusting me to be a part of your journey…..
*Footnote: ‘The team’ is a state-championship-winning high school football team whose coach instills and demands humility, unwavering commitment, and dedication to God and team, in that order as best as I can tell. Many of the team’s players are students in my class. JJ is not. We were a collision of fate and good fortune on a recent February day.