For the Win: Deion Slade

Camelia Rosario, Sports Writer

Deion Slade heard the words “You have gotta hang on to the ball!”

After three seasons without seeing the field, Slade finally got into the game. And what did he do? Fumble. He wanted to quit. Maybe the spectators were right maybe he wasn’t good enough. But as soon as he got off the field and saw his son smiling ever so brightly at him, all the doubt went away.

“The first time I saw my son I was shocked because I couldn’t believe it was me with my own but I loved him from the first moment I held him,” Slade said.

Playing football is challenging. It takes perseverance, determination, speed, strength, and discipline. But it takes more when you become a father at age 16.

“At first I thought about what others thought but not anymore because I understand that I wasn’t the first to have a baby as a teenager and I won’t be the last,” said Slade.

Suddenly, practice is secondary to changing diapers and rocking a child to sleep. But Slade never let it stop him. In the back of his mind, he knew that he’d find success: both as a father and as a football player.

“I honestly feel like my son keeps me motivated to play because I’ve thought about giving up before. Also, my mom, I made many promises to her, and she believes I’m a star,” Slade said.

But being a star required a lot of juggling. There were parental responsibilities. There was school work. And, of course, there was football.

“I think I’m doing a good job of balancing it out because after many long days of hard work all I can think about is getting home to my son. It’s just a mindset,” Slade said.

This year, Slade moved into the starting lineup as a running back and scored multiple touchdowns, proving that he belonged on the field and improving his chances of landing a college scholarship.

“I plan on going somewhere close so I can watch my son grow. I know that God will make that happen for me,” Slade said.
Slades biggest supporter is his son, They have been together through thick and thin.

“Yes he attends my games, he has actually been to every game this year.”

No matter what happens, Slade said he knows he’ll have a good relationship with his son and that he’ll do whatever it takes to provide a good life for him.

“I feel like the relationship I have with my son is special. He really looks up to me and loves me a lot,” Slade said.

Football can be draining, it takes all of your dedication to getting through it. But Slade’s son gets him through it, one way or another.