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McCormick leaves positive impact, concludes football career

The homecoming football game, Oct. 26, marked the end of the football season at FC. For many of the seniors on the team, this game was the last of their football career. One senior in particular, Brandon McCormick, reflects on how football has impacted him throughout high school.

This being McCormick’s 13th year at FC, he is what the FC community calls a “lifer.” McCormick has appreciated the advantages that come with attending a small school.

“My favorite part of going to FC is probably the small school environment,” McCormick said. “I like getting the one-on-one help from teachers that I wouldn’t be able to find in a public school.”

When McCormick first began to play football at age twelve, he was mainly excited at the thought of tackling other people.

“I originally wanted to play football because it was a new sport at FC when I started, and I wanted to try something new,” McCormick said. “I love the physical contact and tackling. It’s a game where you can hit someone as hard as you want, under the rules, and not get in trouble. I had enjoyed watching it on TV and thought it would be fun to play.”

John McCormick, Brandon’s father, explains that he has always encouraged Brandon to pursue his interests.

“I was always very supportive of Brandon in football,” John said. “His mom didn’t like the idea of him playing football at first but after a couple games she started enjoying it. Brandon really wanted to play and he’s a good athlete in any sport, so we were sure he would do well. We have always tried to support him in anything he wants to do.”

John notes that he and his wife have been very proud of Brandon’s hard work on the football field. They are sad that their days of watching their son play football have come to an end.

“Brandon was the most experienced on the team, so watching him lead and help the younger players made us proud,” John said. “We are so proud of him. Even when things weren’t going too well, he still gave 110%. The day of his last game was a sad day for his mom and I. We have been watching him since sixth grade and know how much he loves football. It was really hard to know he won’t be playing anymore.”

While Brandon admits that he still plays for the physical tackling, he is also grateful for the strong friendships that have formed with his teammates.

“I still love to hit people and tackle kids,” McCormick said. “However, I play mainly because it’s my favorite sport and I like the brotherhood that is built throughout my team.”

With the football coaches changing every year of his high school career, McCormick and the other players have had to adjust their way of playing every year to fit the suggestions of new coaches. As a team captain, McCormick has tried to stay consistent with his team.

“I have played all through high school and have had four different coaches,” McCormick said. “The way the game is coached is different with each coach, so I’ve had to adapt to something new every year.”

McCormick feels honored to be a team captain and to be an example for other players on the team.

“It means a lot to know that I’m a leader on the team and that players look up to me,” McCormick said. “My whole view on football is that if I’m going to make a mistake, I’m going to make that mistake going hard!”

New student Caleb Nale, ’14, felt very welcomed by McCormick and believes that he acts as a supportive leader and member on the team.

“Brandon is encouraging, hard-working and positive,” Nale said. “To keep us motivated, he encourages us to do our best and is positive when things are not going well. He was the first guy to accept me on the team and always pushed me to get better. He’s a natural leader and the team looks up to him.”

While being a team leader is something McCormick enjoys doing, he admits that his role often comes with added pressures.

“I sometimes feel like I have more pressure to play well in games than other people,” McCormick said. “In some cases, when games are really close, I am relied on to make certain decisions or actions to help make our team succeed in the end.”

The FC football team has always been much smaller than the teams that they play against. Even under these challenging circumstances, McCormick has tried his best to motivate his team to play their best.

“The main thing I tell my teammates is size doesn’t always matter,” McCormick said. “A lot of the time in football it’s easier to take down a big kid than a small kid because you just have to hit their legs and they fall down. It really doesn’t matter what the scoreboard says at the end of the game; the memories we make and the fun we have is what really matters.”

McCormick still offers encouragement to his teammates even after a loss, knowing that his players put a lot of effort into games.

“After a game, I tell them that we still have next week to work toward,” McCormick said. “I tell them not to ponder over the past but to learn from it instead. I keep myself motivated after a loss by telling myself that it’s just a game, and whether we win or lose, we still praise God in the end.”

While McCormick initially felt frustrated in some situations, he soon realized that his frustration was not aimed at the team’s losses but instead at their work ethic.

“I felt frustrated a lot at the beginning of the season because I felt that our team was better than we were playing,” McCormick said. “It wasn’t hard to do simple techniques in the beginning. As the season went on, our team progressed and I experienced less frustration because I realized that it was all about improving and not winning.”

This year, the football team contained many players that had never played varsity level football before this season. McCormick comments that this sometimes made games more difficult.

“The team this year is quite different in many ways,” McCormick said. “The main difference is varsity experience. We were a very young team compared to past teams and not very many kids had played football or varsity football until this year.”

Football remains an important part of McCormick’s life, providing him with many memories and life skills.

“Football is important to me because sports are my life and football happens to be my favorite,” McCormick said. “I love everything about it: the fans going crazy, Friday nights under the lights, even soreness the next day (feeling like you’ve been in a car accident). Football has taught me life skills and leadership that I feel no other sport could have done. It helped me develop into the man I am today.”

Senior JP Caprioglio looks up to McCormick for his positivity and dedication to the team.

“B-Mac is a great captain and great leader,” Caprioglio said. “He shows a lot of enthusiasm on the field and keeps our spirits up even when we’re down. Every day he’s there at practice before everyone else working hard. In the classroom he’s the last to leave. He’s just a really good mentor.”

Athletic Director and football coach Michael Fuller thinks McCormick has many positive qualities that are appreciated on the team.

“He’s consistent, self-motivated and intelligent,” Fuller said. “He always thinks about the situations that he’s in and tries to make wise decisions. He has natural leadership qualities; he’s charismatic and empathetic and has wisdom and insight.”

Fuller believes McCormick is a good leader on the team, especially for the younger players. He has enjoyed watching McCormick grow as a person from junior high to high school.

“He encourages the younger kids, leads by example and by verbally encouraging and directing other students to do what they’re supposed to do,” Fuller said. “He’s always been a talkative, fun-loving charismatic person but he’s been able to direct that energy and manage himself as he’s gotten older. As any junior higher would act, he would talk too much sometimes and be silly and goofy. He’s now grown out of the goofiness into a person who knows what he wants to do in life.”

For more sports, read the Oct. 25 article, Senior perseveres despite junior high disappointment.

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  • T

    Tynin FriesAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I had so much fun coming up with this plan and then carrying it out. Surprisingly it didn’t take very long, an hour is all. I’m so glad he said yes, and I am looking forward to Sadies.

  • L

    Laura CasugaAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Very cool! Tynin – I didn’t know you were a talented artist, as well as photographer. Nicely done.