The NVSS gym was full of enthusiasm and team spirit on July 5 as CFL All-Star; Daved Benefield delivered a motivational talk to the kids.
The bleachers were filled with aspiring football players and their parents as they listened intently to what Benefield had to say about the game and how to get to the top.
Born and raised in Southern California, Benefield stemmed from a family that revolved around values and making the most of what you’re allotted.
Benefield’s dad, a Vietnam veteran, his mother a city worker made sure that their son had an enriching upbringing that would provide opportunity when needed.
“I started playing football in my sophomore year,” said Benefield. “I played because my friends were playing.”
Benefield stressed that “teamsmanship” and learning the “fundamentals” are the key component when on the field come game day.
“When you’re out there playing the game, you’re not alone,” he said. “You either want the job, or you don’t. You get to the point where you love it and don’t want to leave it.”
Benefield has been playing professional football for 13 years alongside All-Star athletes and coaches that exude a comradery on and off the field.
“Brotherhood is what you learn,” echoed through the gymnasium as Benefield engaged the boys to speak up and share their goals and passion not only on the field, but also off.
According to Benefield, education is the backbone behind anything you do in life – whether that is with sports or day-to-day endeavours, “set an example” not only for yourself, but your teammates as well.
“You dream big and you go for it,” said Benefield. “That’s what football teaches you.”