One of the greatest joys about being a parent is watching your children grow up and become their own person. When they're young they're so much like you and need to do what you say while you lead them to becoming adults. During this time their true personality as a someday human adult isn't there yet. A wonderful by-product of watching your own children grow is also watching what childhood relationships hang on through their growth to adulthood. If you're paying close attention, you can watch your children's friends also grow into adulthood. When I was a kid I didn't know any of my parents' friends. So I didn't get to grow up with other parents, who happened to know my parents, and therefore were like extended family, although not family. When Avin asked to play football many years ago I did not anticipate what the future had in store for extra families kids in our lives. But sure'nuff! it did! So sitting in the stands you are not only cheering on your kid, you are a team parent, cheering on the other kids as well. Many already know this - for me - one who was opposed to sport commitments prior to my kids joining - it's a huge surprise.. but damn what a cool experience! :) One of those kids we've had the fortune of watching grow into an adult has been Jonathan Webb. His teammates know him as #9 Captain Jon Webb, those close to him call him Jonny.
Like Avin, Jonny is also a Junior and has been playing Varsity football since his Freshman year. One of the coolest things to watch unfold over the years has been the transition of a boy into Team Captain. Jonny is the oldest boy of four children in the house and takes that responsibility equally similar to his role as Team Captain - unwavered and intentional. This year hasn't been the most awesome for the Panthers. Not so much in winning games, but the injuries have stacked against the team affecting their ability to compete well. Shown here, Jonny stands with the other three team Captains. Since the first game we have lost each Captain to injury. To Jonny's benefit, he's the only Captain on the field right now. From an outsider looking in, I can see him wearing that responsibility.
The school isn't a very large school, so there are many times we are outnumbered not only in payers, but also outnumbered in size. If you watch the plays and sidelines closely you rarely see Jonny not on the field. Like a Captain on the battlefield, Jonny is front and center often leading his brothers into a mismatched fight. One of the neatest things to watch unfold is the seriousness he brings to the game. Oftentimes we watch from the stands the constant apprehension to execute a play - but like a dog and his bone, Jonny never falls short of that intensity.
Aside from watching your own kid play a game he loves so much, it is also a huge treat to see someone so young take something so seriously. Being so close to his family we get an inside look to the demands and expectations he has on himself. Not only is Jonny a Team Captain, he's also a performing scholar. A typical day for the boy is waking his Mom up at 4am to have her drive him to the gym. He will work out then shower and change in time for his Mom to pick him up when she's taking his siblings to school. Will be at school for a number of hours then will commute to a WestMEC for college courses to wrap up the school day. He will then change in the car ride from WestMEC and be at football practice until around 7pm or later. He will practice football throughout the week, games on Friday, film on Saturday, then work on later that evening and through Sunday. Shit! I thought my life was busy! and I'm a grown ass man! :) Watching him play on the field though, you would never guess his life is involved with anything other than just football. He is a dog after a bone!
The hardest thing to watch unfold is how hard he takes a loss. It's not because he's a sore loser, no. He's the Captain out on the field giving everything he has to the game. Sometimes you can see him limp off to the sidelines or holding his wrist or ribs... the kid's tough as shit!.. but you can tell he's fighting through but needs to be checked out. As soon as the whistle blows he's back out there after his bone. Knowing his level of outside commitments along with how consistently well he plays, banged up and all, he's an inspiration to watch play. It's more so a well thought out dance than a play. In an effort to get to know the players better, I came up with a collection of really cool interview questions. I had them passed along to him for something I'm working on. :)
Here is a little more about Captain Jonathan Webb: How many pillows do you sleep with? I sleep with at least 2 pillows but mainly with 1.
Favorite Color: My favorite color is baby blue.
Favorite Football Team and why are they your favorite?: My favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals because I grew up in Arizona my entire life and mainly watched them play.
Aside from playing in the NFL, what do you want to be in the future? I want to either be a pararescue for the Air Force or a corpsman for the Navy/Marines.
What does playing highschool football mean to you? It’s like a stress reliever and another life, a place that I can go to feeling happy, excited, and wanting to do something with my life everyday.
Who is your favorite Marvel or DC superhero and why are they your favorite? My favorite Marvel superhero is spiderman because I always thought it would be cool to fly around with webs when I was a kid
What goals are you working on now? Goals that I’m working on right now are maintaining A’s in school, staying on varsity as a starter/captain, and passing my EMT and CPD college classes.
What do you do for fun and how do you spend your free time? In my free time I either play video games all day or hangout with my friends.
Who was your most influential teacher, what grade, and why? It would probably be my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Castle because she always told us life advice everyday in class and was always there for her students no matter what, even the ones who hated her.
If a Genie gave you one wish to learn something you don't know, what would it be? One wish I would ask a genie would probably be the cause of death I would die by.
Tonight Jonny leads his team with their second to last Home game of the year. It's Homecoming night tonight against the Panthers rivals, Odyssey Prep. In typical fashion, Jonny is freakishly laser focused on his bone. Fingers are crossed for a home game win. Considering his level of commitment to himself and the entire team, he deserves nothing short of a victory.
Although Jonny's just a young boy on the football field, leading by example to his teammates, he's also an inspiration to us adults watching him play. At the moment, for a kid who needs assistance from adults to get to places or the money required to better himself - and actually does it... there's no reason why ME, a grown ass adult, cannot take care of the things that are important to ME...
If you're reading this Jonny, I hope you know you're an inspiration to more than just those you lead on the football field. - Truly!
Have a grateful weekend friend! :) Go Panthers!!
During the final play of the game, Avin got his first QB sack having blown through that offensive line. Man was that kid out of control jacked!! So cool to see it happen! :)
There's a rival game trophy the schools exchange between each other when the rival team wins. For the first time in many years, the Panther's Varsity Football team pulled off the win! Crushing their rivals 61 - 13!! Taking the coveted rival trophy home! :)
Nothing short of exciting!!
**Avin's #75 Jersey was his Papa John's number in high school :) Such a nice way to carry on his memory. RIP Bonus Dad!
Have a grateful weekend!