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Huddle up: Elijah Zabludoff on high school football

September 23, 2013|By Elijah Zabludoff
  • St. John Bosco center Elijah Zabludoff
St. John Bosco center Elijah Zabludoff (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles…)

Editor’s note: Elijah Zabludoff is a senior football player from St. John Bosco High and an aspiring journalist. Each week during the high school football season, he will be blogging about his personal experiences and also his thoughts about prep sports in general. Zabludoff is a returning starter at center for the Braves, who are undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the Southland by Los Angeles Times.

My eyes slowly open and there is nothing but a haze. I rub the haziness with my hands, and now, darkness. I turn to my clock to see what time it is, but my neck is too sore to move. I attempt to sit up, but my abdominal muscles cramp.

I lay in bed for another 20 minutes trying to figure out a painless way to go about eating the breakfast I smell cooking. Suddenly, nature calls, and I have no option. I must answer.

I swing my legs out of my bed one by one and use my desk for stabilization. “It can’t be that hard, left foot, right foot,” I tell myself. It’s like taking my first steps all over again.

After I complete my morning duty, I go to the mirror to examine all of cuts, bruises and burns on my body. It is something no one should ever see.

The upper body is first. My chest is filled with huge red spots, each about four inches in diameter, from the hits I took and delivered.

I turn to look at my arms. There are at least 15 bruises on each arm. All I see are black, blue  and even green spots, starting from my shoulder and heading down my entire arm. Each bruise looks like a different state, and each tells a different story about the rough times of being a football center.

There are 7-by-2-inch burns on both elbows from sliding on the turf. I can barely bend my arm because the pain is too much.

I don't even have to look at my legs. I can already feel the bruises and cuts all over them. On my thighs there are about 10 facemask-shaped bruises. It feels like someone stuck 13 knives into my legs.

My shins are swollen with "monkey bumps" from all the cleats kicked into them. This is definitely the worst pain in my entire body. My ankles and toes are filled with cuts. The entire team stepping on them can be felt with every step.

I gently limp out to the couch, where I know I can relieve the pain. “How are you feeling?” My dad says to me.

Without a response, he can tell I am too sore for any type of interaction. I fall back onto the couch and eat the breakfast I smelled all morning.

The day after a game is not one of much joy. It is filled with nothing but soreness, pain and eating. Yeah, the eating is fantastic, but this is one time where the eating doesn’t outweigh everything else.

At least we won, defeating Loyola, 24-10. Along with the rest of my teammates, I have a week to recover and get ready for another game. Next up: Crenshaw.

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