Whitman talks with his pads and plays with heartWhitman talks with his pads and plays with heartBy Jacquelyn WagnerStaff Reporter It’s game time and freshman Dakota Whitman all nervous and ecstatic to play football September 18, 2017, he sprints out and lines up on the field with his teammates waiting nervously for senior Nick Miller to snap the ball to him so he can throw the perfect spiral to the running back. Dakota Whitman loves football so much that it is his favorite sport. Football is his passion, his favorite sport, and his life because it makes Whitman feel alive, and every time he throws that perfect spiral or runs the ball down the field so close to scoring a touchdown it makes Whitman feel like he is doing something right. “I love playing the game and having my family support me and come and watch me play my all-time favorite sport because I love my family and because football is one of my passions that I never want to give up, Dakota said.”Whitman plays on the junior varsity team, but that never stops him from supporting his fellow varsity teammates. He plays two positions which are quarterback and running back.“I love being the quarterback on the team because I am captain of the ball and decide where the ball goes. Also being the quarterback is the position I do best at.”Whitman is included on three special teams such as kickoff, punt return, and kick return. Kickoff is when one of the teams has the ball and kicks the ball across the field where the opposing team will catch the ball and begin running, but kickoff only happens after a touchdown is scored or to begin the first half or second half. Punt return is usually during fourth down the team doesn’t feel like they can get a first down, so they continue to drive the ball down the field. Kick return is when the opposing team returns the ball after kickoff.“My favorite special team is kickoff because it is at the beginning of the game and that is when I am so pumped up and ready to win the game, Dakota said.”After special teams, Whitman and his fellow teammate go and practice individual strengths like defense and offense. After working on individual strengths than the football team finally practices their plays that they will be using in the game. “There is this play called the Refrigerator, and it is so hilarious because when the running back gets the ball, he usually slows everyone down, and they always look funny when doing it, Dakota said.”Football practices aren’t always as smooth as they seem, sometimes they can get dangerous because if the plays aren’t practiced with proper dress attire or certain safety regulations, someone could get hurt. I know from experience that those medical bills aren’t cheap. “Sometimes I get scared at practices because I know I have to go up against senior Brooks Nichols and senior Isaac Guzman on the defensive line, Dakota said.”At junior varsity football games, Whitman is always so pumped up and ready to play some football. Whitman loves playing in junior varsity football games, mainly because he doesn’t really get to play in varsity games. Junior varsity games don’t have a lot of action but when something happens it is either funny or serious.“At a junior varsity football game I tackled someone, and it was hilarious because when we were laying down on the ground, I reached into the other guy’s helmet and honked his nose, Dakota said.”Whitman’s favorite football player on his team is sophomore Rhett Pospichal because he puts all of his efforts into football.Whitman’s favorite professional football player is Peyton Manning is because he is a great quarterback and led the Denver Broncos to two super bowls.“I would not play professional football, because I feel like it would be too much stress and that the game isn’t about all the fame and fortune. Don’t get me wrong I would love to play pro ball, but I would have to gladly decline because I also feel like I wouldn’t get to see my family as much, Dakota said.”

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