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Overcoming the obstacles

was halfway through my workout at the YMCA Wednesday morning when Southside head football coach Daniel Flowers sent me a text message alerting me that his weight room had been broken into.

Several thoughts ran through my head as I pulled out my headphones and re-read the text to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating.

Some person, or group of people, decided it was worth their time and effort to break into a local public school and steal its equipment.

They broke the padlock securing the gym and stole more than 800-pounds of metal plates that costs approximately $1,700.

They didn’t just steal from the football program, which is in the midst of summer workouts, but they stole from every student, athlete and staff member that uses that weight room to improve themselves.

When I played high school football, summer conditioning and strength training is what helped a 195-pound lineman go toe-to-toe with Georgia boys in the 280-plus club. I was under-sized, but thanks to summer conditioning I was able to improve my strength and earn my spot as a varsity starter.

Weight training is crucial, especially for football players, and it’s beyond shameful that student-athletes are the victims in this burglary.

I went out to the high school to check out the weight room. Several student-athletes were still in the gym getting their workout in, but had to alter their plans due to the missing weight.

Southside football played in and won three overtime games last season, so adversity isn’t anything new to them.

But they were disappointed to walk into their weight room with even less tools than they had before.

I salute the kids for not letting this heinous crime impede their drive to get better and stronger. Winners don’t complain about when things get hard. Winners don’t crumble when the obstacles facing them pile higher. Winners don’t give up when forces outside of their control give them a disadvantage.

Winners take on the challenge, rise over their obstacles and find a way to control their own destiny.

I challenge the athletes at Southside High School to run that extra lap, add another repetition to their set and come out of this off-season stronger than before.

Thomas Scott is the sports writer for the Selma Times Journal. He can be contacted at thomas.scott@selmatimesjournal.com.