By Mo Espinoza
Special to RDR Sports
Sports Editor’s note: RDR Sports asked former athletes, former coaches and current coaches what they are thankful for this week. Each day you will hear from a former player or coach. We hope that their memories and words of wisdom inspire you and more importantly, give you time to reflect and give thanks for the blessings you have.
Today, we start with former Goddard football player Mo Espinoza:
I am Mo Espinoza, former Goddard Rocket football player. I was a former Marine and I am currently involved as a coach and board member for Roswell Youth Football League. At times, especially this year, it is tough to take a moment to share how thankful I am for life’s blessings.
When you’re faced with those “I can’t” moments, it’s nice to reflect and take a few minutes to look back on the many things you are grateful for. As we remember who we are and how we got here, the game changes and we keep pushing forward.
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I am thankful for my health, family and friends. Those special blessings have shaped me into the person I am today.
I am thankful for being able to serve my country in the Marine Corps. I have committed my life to the Roswell community for the last 23 years. For me, it all started as a proud Goddard Rocket football player.
From great coaches like Sam Jernigan, Mike Whalen and Ruben Bolanos, I learned discipline and accountability under coaches. They taught me intangibles that I still use today. I learned attention to detail, discipline — and as coach of the Roswell Youth Football League, I try to instill those characteristics into the young boys that cross my path.
I know what those traits have done for me in my life. Those are life lessons that never go out of style, no matter what path life takes you down.
What I learned about my experiences at Goddard was those coaches not only cared about me when I played for them, but after I graduated they cared about me. I have stayed in contact with them and they always ask how I’m doing when I see them around town.
What I try to teach kids that play for me is that life is full of ups and downs. Just like in a game. Life will test you, but you don’t quit, you have to keep playing until the whistle. I let the kids know that if they quit, they can never win. Winners never quit and quitters never win.
I have modeled myself after these fine gentlemen that made such an impact on my life. I tell my kids, we are often tested in life, but we’re always faithful and brothers forever. I am grateful to my former teammates and coaches I played with and for. I’m grateful to my family, country, Roswell, and to the RYFL.
Happy Thanksgiving, Roswell.
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”