Forced to Grow Up

First off, I can’t say how sorry I am to see another kid killed on a CT campus.  We should be able to send kids off to better their lives without having to worry about getting killed.  These three recently just adds to tragedies in VA Tech and Northern Illinois.

Now, do not take this as being cold or uncaring, but positive things can rise up from tragedies like this. It’s up to the people involved which direction they want to head.  The UConn team and it’s coaches can honor a great teammate, friend and player by going out and play inspired football for the rest of the season or they can let this rip them apart as the season slips through their fingers.    They have a chance to use the life of “Jazz” as a rallying cry.  They can go out and play in honor of Howard, dedicating the season to him and his family.  They can use their memory of him as a driving force.  What better way to honor the 20-year-old.

This is a tough lesson to learn in the middle of a season.  This really is something that no kid should have to go through, but here they are, face-to-face with a huge reality check.  How they react to this can define the rest of their football careers and their lives.  I thought team captain Desi Cullen represented himself, his team, and his school proudly during the press conference yesterday.

It is up to the coaches to lead the team in the right direction.  Get this team back on the field.  Get them doing their normal routine.  Get into practice and pads, running and blocking, throwing and catching.  This team will need to get away from the tragedy, and ironically, that will be the football field. 

This will be the biggest test for the UConn Huskies football team this season.  Lets hope that, for the sake of  Jasper Howard and his family, they go out and play as a team.  They go out and play hard.   They go out and play with love in their hearts and with the same drive and determination that brought Jasper Howard from LIttle Haiti in Miami to the Storrs campus.

Go out and make him proud.