Offensive lineman role model on, off field

Marisa Lindeman

The sound of the crowd is deafening as the Friday night lights shine down on the field. Along the sideline, the players wait their turn to enter the game and prove themselves among their peers.

High school football is not just a past time or a sport; it’s a way of life. It is through this way of life that a young man will sometimes rise to the occasion and really excel as a leader.

Senior offensive lineman Cody Ponzio is one of these young men.

He represents his team well by demonstrating his dedication to football and his school while acting as a leader for other members of the Viking team.

“He constantly walks through the locker room talking positively to other players making it known that he has a genuine interest in others,” Coach Robert Jesurun said.

Ponzio doesn’t mind going the extra mile and works hard to motivate his teammates to help give them a boost of confidence on the field. He tries to be as positive as possible, which helps bring a mutual balance in a brutal sport like football.

“He can take hard work and make it enjoyable by his attitude and personal conduct,” Jesurun said.

Ponzio is the epitome of what the game of football means. He is a team player and is never self-centered. He is one of the leaders that help tie the team together as a cohesive unit.

“He represents our football program in a way that brings us great honor,” Jesurun said. “But it goes far and beyond and he makes others around him work harder by his encouragement and personal example.”

Ponzio agrees that a leader has to not only tell people what should be done, but show them.

“It’s about showing leadership through example,” Ponzio said. “That’s what football is all about.”

Ponzio is also a positive role model throughout campus. His teacher appreciate his “never give up” attitude and his ability to stay focused on achieving a good education, while also working to become a good football player.

“He stays focused on what he needs to do and does whatever it takes to complete his task,” English teacher Lisa Prejean said.

Ponzio recognizes his role as a leader on the team, but he also understands the importance of each player.

“If no one else wants to step up, I feel like I should, but I still stay with my teammates,” Ponzio said. “I’m going to be a leader, but [they] are still my team, I’m not going to put myself above [my teammates].”