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Demanding Success

posted Oct 17, 2012, 12:43 AM by Golden Knight
 By Chris Alle 

 Saint Francis High School is a place that makes the impossible dreams for so many people become true. In my opinion, Saint Francis was never just about the academics, the extra curricular activities, or even the teachers. Saint Francis was about the students and the people that I have had the opportunity to talk to for the past four years. These past years, I have made friendships and personal connections that will last forever. One person that stands out from the others at Saint Francis is Joey Velladao. 

Joey is a leader that deserves to be recognized, but his work ethic and effort goes unnoticed too often. Joey Velladao is unquestionably the most committed individual at Saint Francis. Joey is the captain of the Varsity Football Team, a difficult position to achieve considering that Saint Francis High School has one of the most competitive and rigorous football programs in the San Gabriel Valley. The football players begin training in January and wake every day to grind through the infamous “Morning Lifting.” While many football players complain about the difficulties of morning lifting, Joey has embraced it. According to Joey, “this is what I do and it’s who I am.”

In order for Joey to be awarded the prestige of a captain, his fellow peers have to elect him, and the coaching staff has to approve of him. Beside being a phenomenal athlete, Joey also possesses another essential quality that typical athletes tend to ignore: academics. Joey not only maintains “scholar” status as an athlete, but he also challenges himself by taking rigorous A.P. and honors courses. Let us not forget that Joey is also an active member of Student Council. In addition, he is in charge of the Athletics Division that develops every sports rally and the classic pre-game “pump-ups.” Joey is an active Golden Knight. 

One day at school I asked him, “Joey how do you do it man, how do you manage to stay on top all the time?” Joey looked up at me and said, “dedication, discipline, and determination.” Joey usually answers me by quoting the Spartans or saying something that goes “right over my head,” but this response was particularly special. The more I thought about it and the more I contemplated it, I realized he had the ultimate “recipe for success.” Although these qualities are simple, many people struggle with them. Whenever I wonder how to handle the adversity that high school presents, Joey’s motto always comes into my mind, “dedication, discipline, and determination.” It is something that everyone should at least consider; it seems to be working well for Joey. High School, especially at a college preparatory school like Saint Francis, was never designed to be an easy journey. Saint Francis is not for those that take the “easier road.” Saint Francis High School was designed for only the dedicated, the disciplined, and the determined. Although school poses many difficulties that push students to the maximum, the people are what make this a memorable experience. When I look back on my experiences at Saint Francis High School, I will not remember the Economics lesson or that irrelevant Trigonometry lesson. Instead, I will remember the people like Joey Velladao; the people that not only wanted success, but demanded success.