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Huddle up: Elijah Zabludoff on High School Football

September 30, 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 ranked No. 1 in the Southland by the Los Angeles Times.

I was sitting in the bleachers at St. John Bosco High and cheering for the Compton High basketball team.

That might seem strange to some people. To me, it just came natural. For nine years, I played basketball for the greatest team that ever was: the Compton Air Force. We were star-studded, with names such as Kyron Cartwright, who is one of the top point guards in the West; Isaiah Bailey, a highly regarded small forward; and Rashead Johnson, a top football receiver who, when I was a teammate, was dunking at the age of 13.

Then there was me, the white kid who considered these guys part of his family.

Sports in general are a common but widely overlooked source of breaking barriers. Race, class and economic status all go by the wayside in the great world of sports.

Athletes are performers and the court is their stage. The goal is perfection. As part of a team, we’re taught to for each other, no matter what. There is no concern about what neighborhood you’re from, what kind of car you have, or who you know. We’re supposed to care about the greater good of the team.

Sports is something that is bigger than any individual athlete, and to me that brings a calm, certain kind of serenity.

I don’t know what it is about it, but the love of sports is ubiquitous. From the field, I look up into the stands and I don’t see race or color. All I see are football fans. They’re cheering for their favorite team or player and I’m out there doing the best I can.

They discuss the plays and maybe the future of their team. And hopefully they allow other fans to express their opinions without conflict.

There needs to be some sort reassurance and comfort in this world, and sports are capable of providing it. Athletes perform best when they are care and worry free, thinking about nothing but their craft and who is supporting them.

That’s the goal, at least. I like to think sports helps us to be a more tolerant, in-sync, unified world.

The St. John Bosco High football team returns to action Friday against Crenshaw High. Here’s hoping all the athletes, this and every week, are proud of the way they perform and the fans in the stands support their team and show good sportsmanship.

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