Players on this football team often face hard times. Here's how their coaches are helping.

Families don't have to look any one way.

Neil Prescot didn't have the easiest time growing up.

His mom, Tia, raised him as a single parent, and they often struggled to make ends meet. They had to pack up and move pretty regularly, which left Neil without a stable sense of home.

Thankfully, when his home life situation became difficult, he had friends from the football team step up and offer him what they could.


“I didn’t really know much about Neil’s situation, but I just knew he needed a place to stay," says Edgar Geurrero, one of Neil's friends. “He’s pretty much family to me. He’s another brother.”

Edgar (left) and Neil (right) at Edgar's house. All photos via Upworthy.

And Neil's far from the only athlete at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, Maryland who's experienced tough times like this. Coach Kim is all too familiar with these types of stories.

“I’ve had a kid evicted the night before a game," Kim says. "I think about that, and god, that’s heartbreaking." Kim would often wonder if his players were food insecure, or afraid their family wasn't going to make rent. He knows it can't be easy not to know where you're going to live the next week.

However, Neil rarely alludes to the issues that he's facing. When he's at practice, he's there to play football, probably because it's a welcome respite from everything else.

On the team, Neil's a linebacker on defense and a kicker with special teams, but he's also someone the other players look up to. He's a leader.

"His teammates really do watch him, and those who do know his story really take him to heart," says Bryn Crower, one of the team's athletic trainers.

Neil (center) with his teammates.

But football hasn't just made him a leader among his teammates. Neil's learning the importance of giving back to the community thanks to his coaches.

Coach McCabe does motivational workshops with the team every Wednesday, and coach Ali's been getting the players involved with coat drives and other community service activities. It's all to help remind them that they can make a huge impact if they just try a little harder and give a bit more.

“We try to help the community as much as we can," says Neil.

These endeavors also help unify the team. It's such a comforting environment for kids like Neil who may not have the same experiences at home.

And through it all, they have coaches and teachers who root for them as if they were their own kids.

"He’s an awesome kid, he really is," says Crower about Neil. "And I hope everybody here takes a little piece of Neil and just keeps it close to their heart, and they can grow and try to be like him as well."

To learn more about Neil's story, check out this clip:

True leadership on and off the field

Despite the hardships he's faced throughout his life, this student-athlete is a role model for his teammates and his entire community.

Posted by Upworthy on Thursday, October 4, 2018
Most Shared
True
The CW's All American
BXGD / Flickr and Cody Bondarchuk / Twitter

Sometimes the smallest gesture can turn your entire day around. You find a $5 bill in the pockets of your jeans. There's no traffic on the way home from work. Or by some divine intervention, you get 11 chicken McNuggets in your 10-piece box.

Of course, if you've ever had such a blessing, you know your first thought is, "Must be some sort of mistake."

But do you return the extra McNugget? Nope. You don't even feel an ounce of guilt for it. You dunk it in barbecue sauce and relish it like a gift from the gods.

A former McDonald's employee in Edmonton, Canada let the world know that sometimes an extra McNugget is not a mistake and he's become a viral hero.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes
terimakasih0/Pixabay

When Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School principal Janet Behrens observed her students in the cafeteria, she was dismayed to see that they spent more time looking down at their phones than they did looking at and interacting with each other. So last year, she implemented a new policy that's having a big impact.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

They say that kids say the darnedest things, and seriously, they do. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with young children knows that sometimes the things they say can blow your mind.

Since teachers spend more time around little kids than anyone else, they are particularly privy to their profound and hilarious thoughts. That's why NYC kindergarten teacher Alyssa Cowit started collecting kid quotes from teachers around the country and sharing them on her Instagram account, Live from Snack Time, as well as her websiteand other social media channels.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular