Garland ISD: GISD Athletic Signing Day 2020

Garland ISD: GISD Athletic Signing Day 2020


Ladies and gentlemen let’s welcome the
coaches and student-athletes of 2020 Garland ISD National Signing Day flags
our first school the Patriots of Lakeview Centennial High School! [applause] The Rangers of Naaman Forest! [applause] The Raiders up North Garland! [applause] The Rowlett Eagles! [applause] The Sachse Mustangs! [applause] and the Colonels of South Garland! [applause] What day is it? What? What? What day is it?
It’s signing day yes! We’re here to celebrate all your great accomplishments.
It’s a special day not only in GISD but all across this nation where student
athletes like yourself are signing letters of commitment to further their
college education in their athletic careers. Congratulations! Let’s give
everybody a hand. [applause] My name is Cliff Odenwald and I am the executive director of
athletics for Garland ISD. This is one of my proudest days, special days of the
whole year. You know, because we get to celebrate the best of the best. You truly
get it, because not only the best on the field or the court but you’re also the
best in the classroom or you wouldn’t be sitting here! You know there’s so many
people that have supported you along the way to celebrate this day. First your
family, your parents, Guardians ,your coaches, your teammates, your teachers,
your administrators, everybody has helped you along in this journey to celebrate
this special day. And we’ve got a great day, we’ve got a good line of speakers
and special guests. So I’d like to bring your attention to the stage up
here we’ve got some special guests. First we have Board of Trustees President
Johnnie Beach, Vice President Robert Selders Jr. and Mr. Jed Reed. [applause] Also we have our
superintendent who will greet you in just a second, Dr. Lopez. [applause] And my boss, Dr.
Susanna Russell the CLO and the CFO Dr. Brent Ringo. [applause] I want to thank everybody
for their support! These are the guys and gals that make things happen
for you, that help us in all of our programs. And now behind me
the athletic department on your left my right is Mr. Sam McIlroy, assistant AD.
Philip Wiggins, aquatics manager. Ms. Judy Campbell, Assistant Athletic
Director and then you heard from coach Miller, he’ll be presenting the names
later and then we have Sam, a special speaker. He’ll speak to you a little bit.
At this time I’d like to welcome Dr. Lopez up to the podium to greet you. [applause] Good
afternoon! Oh come on, you got to be more fired up
than that. Good afternoon! You know, you know, this is a real special day. Let me
show you. Let me show you how special this is students. Adults ,if you got to
play in college after after high school, please stand to be recognized. Stand up! So when you look around, give these
people a round of applause! [applause] So students, if you ask that same
question in front of the entire staff at your high school, you would notice the
same people you saw stand up but not many more.
Okay it’s a very big privilege to be honored to go to that next level. And
this is the best honor of all because you guys had to balance academics and
your athletic performance. You didn’t do it just by your born given
ability to play whatever sport your playing right now. So what people don’t see
is all the hard work you put into it, okay. What people don’t see is, where my
parents, they’re right here. What people don’t see is all the rides they gave you,
having to wake up take you to tournaments, pay for new shoes, run and
get you Gatorade after they told you to get the Gatorade out of the fridge
before the event. Is that right parents? Right? Give those people a round of
applause! [applause] Because they did that sacrifice for you
to realize your dreams. So you have to realize two things before you leave here
today. First of all your coaches do know best they’ve been in your shoes they
know what to expect at the next level. Do not think, like well you’re at the high
school level, you don’t know what’s going on in the college level. It’s gonna be
different. No, they know, they lived it! They lived it
so much, that; Do you really think they’re coaching to be stressed out every day?
They’re coaching because they want to prepare you the way, maybe, they weren’t
prepared for that next level, so go to your coaches. Secondly ,always thank your
mom, dad, sisters, brothers, who ever has been there to to support you! Because nothing
in life is ever given to you by you alone. And you’re always surrounded by a
network that supports you and keeps you afloat. The more you connect with them,
the more you will stay afloat, the more you will graduate. And the more we hope
that you come back and be a coach or fulfill your dream at the next level and
represent GISD well. The beautiful thing about this is you all have been
competing with each other probably since grade school and today you stand as
brothers and sisters at GISD all celebrating your hard work and
achievement and every school is represented today so it’s a proud moment
for GISD. It’s a proud moment for parents, it’s a proud moment for coaches,
and it’s a proud moment for you to relish it. Take your selfies, post it, remember it,
because the hard work is just beginning. And I promise you if you follow
everything that you’re coach has told you, you you live with that spirit
that your family gave you and you live to the expectations that GISD gave you.
The best is yet to come so congratulations and we look forward to
celebrating you. [applause] At this time let’s introduce our 2020
signees beginning with the Patriots of Lakeview Centennial High School. [applause] Head baseball coach John Lenihan. Football assistant
coach and recruiting coordinator Anthony Saincilaire. Head girls soccer coach, Nikki Ganter. Congratulations to the Lakeview Centennial Patriots! [applause] At this time we’ll
bring forward the Rangers of Naaman Forest High School and head football
coach Jesse Perales. Boys soccer coach Scott Faris. Girls Track coach, Myron Baker. congratulations to the Naaman Forest
Rangers. [applause] Now introducing the Raiders of North Garland high school and
head football coach Joe Castillo. Head volleyball coach
Jill Steininger. Congratulations to the North Garland
Raiders [applause] And now, introducing the eagles of Rowlett high school. head baseball
coach or correction athletic coordinator Doug Stephens. Boys basketball coach Jason Bush. and in football signing with the Rams of
Angelo State University Jeremiah Franks. Head girls soccer coach Jason Fegraeus. Another round of applause for the
Rowlett Eagles! [applause] And at this time introducing the
Mustangs of Sachse high school. Head baseball coach, Chris Burrow. Head Girls Basketball coach Donna
McCullough. Cross-country coach Kacey Laughery. Head Football coach Red Behrens. Golf coach Russell Simmons. Girls soccer coach Kristen Campbell. Head Volleyball coach Rikki Jones. Congratulations to the Sachse Mustangs! [applause] And
now the South Garland Colonels. Head Girls basketball coach and women’s
coordinator Priscilla Vela. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give one
final ovation for your 2020 Garland ISD National Signing Day class. [applause]
Congratulations, everybody stand up! let’s go! [Cliff] I’m gonna bring up Sam assistant
athletic director Sam McIlroy. He had the honor of coaching our speaker in college
at Texas Tech so I’m gonna let Sam introduce him. Good afternoon. It’s a true
honor to be able to stand here and introduce our speaker today. I met this
young man about nine years ago when I was coaching football at
Texas Tech. I recruited the Metroplex and Lakeview Centennial was one of my
schools and I was in there one spring and talking with the coaches and they
were telling me about a guy that was a basketball player at heart but that had
switched over and got on the football field.
He had demonstrated a great amount of skill and so I started looking at him
and it didn’t take long to figure out this guy had a talent and I was fortunate
enough to convince him to come to Texas Tech. And Sam has done a tremendous job
ever since then. He was a great athlete in high school, played on the
back-to-back state qualifier or state tournament basketball team there for
Lakeview, and was a tremendous football player as well. when he got to
Tech, Sam made his impact there the first week that he got on campus. And you’ll
have the same opportunity to do that because when summer workouts start
you’ve got to be ready to go. The first day, and I’ll never forget the the string
staff coming in and giving us a review of incoming freshmen during the first
week of workouts. First guy they mentioned was Sam. They said this guy is
showing up in great shape he’s the first guy in line to do anything, he’s dressed
the way he’s supposed to be dressed, he’s a competitor, he tries to win every drill
and that that carried him through his career there at Tech, He ended up
starting as a freshman and was named the Big 12
All Freshmen Team, started the three years after that. I need to pull this sheet out
make sure I get all your stats right Sam because Sam’s not gonna
talk about himself. But he did a great job. He finished with 37starts,
225 tackles three and a half sacks, an interception, five passes defended, two
forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and all that’s great
and he was a four-year letterman. But the best thing he did at Texas Tech was get
his degree, graduated with with a degree in sociology and from there you know Sam
will tell you a little bit about his story. But he he played in the Canadian
Football League for three years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. During his
career in Canada he had a hundred seventy three tackles, four sacks an
interception and most recently this last year joined the Miami Dolphins of the
NFL. In his first year he registered 40 tackles, seven tackles for loss and three
and a half sacks, and I guarantee if you would talk to the people in Miami
they’d say the same thing that we all know about Sam. Here he’s a great young
man, well a great grown man with a great work ethic and we’re all we’re all proud
of him. We’re gonna watch a short video and then I’ll bring Sam to the microphone. [music} My journey to CFL, if it was surely wasn’t
expected, you know. Just like any other college athlete, your goal is to make it
to the NFL, but you knowm that didn’t happen for me after the draft. So I
decided to go to a so-called lower league which is the CFL. So I looked up
workouts online and whichever worke out was in Dallas, I hit all of it. When I got over
there, I was like one of maybe 350 guys there. Like some guys from college, some guys
from the NFL, some guys didn’t even go to college at all. So it was kind of like,
you’re doing this at your own risk everybody had signed a waiver, be good
and they up sending your contract. And I was the only person from that whole
workout group that day that got a contract. So that’s a blessing in itself. Off seasons in the CFL, you know, we don’t
really make that much money. When you’re on rookie contract, you like a
hundred percent got to get a job. I would drive Uber and it was kind of humbling
experience for me. The lifestyle of being a CFL life
athlete it’s completely different from an NFL athlete. I’m working the job and
I’m training as hard as an NFL athlete to get, you know, to where they are. And
then, you know, just really messes with you mentally. Your back is against the
wall, you going against all odds and you gotta find a way to get in the door.
So that’s really the main thing that people don’t really see with my story is
the mental part. In 2017 I kind of didn’t know if football was what I really
wanted to do. You know, when I went home for that off season I talked to my family
a lot. One thing my mom and dad always told me, whatever you start, you gotta finish.
So I said, you know, I’ll go back in 2018. I think me having that mindset really
was what helped me excel up there and have a great year. After my final year in 2018, NFL
teams started calling, workout started rolling in, and it got to the point where
I got to make my decision. [music] A crazy story when I look back at it my own
self. I’m just like: there were so many, like, ups and downs that I could have
literally just quit and just said: You know what? Forget this, but, you know, I
stayed the course and now my mind set is, you know, if you put your mind to
something and you really trust the process, you can get it done. [music] Let’s give a big LC Patriot welcome
home to Sam Eguavoen. [applause] [Sam] How ya’ll doing? Every time I
watch that video I’m just like: man it’s tough man, but it’s a blessing. Y’all
have a great opportunity in front of you. What people don’t realize
when they do sign a letter of intent. We got a huge head start on everybody else.
You know everybody else in the real world they don’t get this opportunity.
The don’t get partial scholarships, full scholarship things like that. Like my
sister, she gots a great job but she got a whole bunch of school fees and she’s
probably paying for the rest of her life. And right now y’all got the opportunity
to skip past all that while chasing your dreams at the same time. One thing that the video didn’t show, after college I didn’t get no NFL opportunity. I didn’t just go
straight to the CFL, I actually stopped playing football you know. I stayed at
college for a couple more months cause I didn’t want to go back home to my mom
and dad’s house. So I ended up going back home eventually and I got a job at I got
a job at Foot Action. It’s like a company like Footlocker y’all know over
there at Town East Mall. Y’all know where that’s at. So I was working there for
about five almost six months, you know, I was I was making money I was making
about $1,900 every two weeks but uh I couldn’t do that for the rest of my life.
So I eventually quit that join the Dallas PD. I was there for about two
weeks. Quit that, so you know this whole time
like football wasn’t even on my mind. I was trying to figure out what I wanted
to do in life. I got the degree in sociology. It was something I wanted to do, be a cop but I got out there wasn’t what I really wanted to do and it was after that,
that’s when I went to a CFL workout and then was in
the CFL from there. But I’m not here to talk about the CFL
I’m not here to talk about the NFL . I’m here to talk about that opportunity I
got and y’all got going into college. I’m not gonna sit up here and lie to y’all
because I know I did get that scholarship, I didn’t make it to college,
but there was so much stuff that I left out there on the field in college.
There’s so much stuff I left out there in the classroom. I
I myself I didn’t I didn’t realize the opportunity that I had in front of me. I
didn’t take advantage of it. So, I mean, there are times that I did skip class,
there are times that I came to the work out and knew it was gonna be easy workout. I had a Gatorade bottles full of
kool-aid, you know, I wouldn’t drinking water, I wasn’t taking advantage of the
food that they gave us. You know I was skipping training table going to
McDonald’s. skipping training table and going to Popeye’s, you know, I just
thought everything was easy. And then when it came down to my draft year,
I had a good year and everything. I felt like it was the little things that held me back. The little things that I didn’t get that phone call I didn’t get that
work out. I didn’t get that try out because the little things. The stuff I was doing
when when coach Mac wasn’t watching, the stuff I was doing what coach Kingsbury
wasn’t watching, all that came back on me. And I’m telling y’all now take advantage
of this opportunity early because all y’all coming in: I can really
only speak for football, I know when y’all first come in there’s gonna be the
old heads, y’all gonna call them old heads, like I’m an old head right now talking to
y’all. They’re gonna come in and tell y’all a it goes by fast, take advantage
of the opportunity, listen to your coach ,go to school, make sure you get a good major,
make sure you pay attention in your classes. Y’all are gonna blow it off and I’m
telling y’all right now, listen to them, because it does go by fast I promise you.
But yeah, one of the main things with me after college it was tough man because
I’m up here speaking to y’all because I was on both sides of the fence. I know
everybody in here going to college, your goal is to make it to the NFL, I’m in the
NFL now but I know what the real world was like. And it sucked,
you know, you know, you know you really just gotta appreciate and thank your
parents because they’re going through that every day to get y’all to where
y’all are right now. Because they don’t want y’all to go through what they went
through. Like I said, y’all got that huge head start, free
college, partially free college all that. You just got to make the most of it man, it’s just, I mean, it’s a blessing to be
up here and speaking in front of y’all man. Cause this is, this is crazy, I’m cut
from the same cloth, y’all are. I grew up 3201 Overglen Rd over there off Rose Hill grow up in Garland my whole life so I know what it’s
like man. Garland athlete, playing sports out here man it’s good and all
y’all sent up here today, you know you just got to be grateful, got to be
thankful. Thank your coaches, thank your parents, and you know thank your
teammates, thank those guys that let you skip in line because you know that’s you
know you skipping in line. That’s why I was going to college getting, those extra
reps and that’s how I found my way to the top, But I really appreciate y’all
for having me here It’s a blessing and hopefully one
day y’all can come back to GISD and speak on the same podium I’m now speaking on. Thank you. [applause] [Cliff] Thank you Sam. Some great words of
inspiration, goes to show what you can do it you never give up, set your goals high
continue to work, continue to listen and do the things that will prepare you not
only for the level you’re going to but hopefully for the next level in life.
Before I leave with a few challenges I’d like to thank Dr. Mida Milligan, Tiffany
Veno, the Communications Department, the Athletic Department staff and I think
Tosha and Jamie over here too and then Delbert and the GRS-TV crew for making
this a special day. Everybody that chipped in, a lot of hard work went into
this today. But I’m gonna leave you with a few challenges seniors before you take
off. In three short months you will walk across this same stage right here. It may
be a little wider or maybe a little longer but it’s going to be right here
in the CCC in this auditorium. Three months! How many of you got senioritis already? All right, thank you for admitting it. That’s a
truthful person, two or three right there. Don’t get in trouble,
finish strong, set educational goals to finish strong. You are the leaders on
your campus! People look up to you, what you do they will do and we want to make
sure that you walk across this stage in three months to get your diploma finish
strong. Sam said it, you be in the best shape
you’ve ever been in your life when you show up that first day. You win every
drill, you win every sprint, you make a great impression and get the respect of
your coaches and your teammates. That first impression, like Coach McElroy said,
made a difference, it’ll make a difference for you whether they redshirt
you or they put you on the field. Secondly, I’ve got to talk, I always have
to talk about the smart phones all right. I don’t know why they call them smart
phones because people put the stupidest stuff on these phones and post it
Finish strong! Hey we’re watching what you put on here, your
new coaches are watching what you’re putting on here and whoever’s gonna give
you your first job is watching what you put on here. Put the positive stuff. There
are a lot of great things going on in your life and with your families and
everything, put that on there. I don’t care where you are, I don’t care where you
shaking it, put the good stuff on there. Okay? People can be idiots. And last, the
number one goal that everybody has said today is that degree. We love you but we
don’t want you back till you get that degree. Come visit but do not come back
home, we don’t want to feed you anymore, we’re tired of that. We’re
tired about worrying about when you’re gonna come home. Go to college, get that
degree and if you get the chance get multiple degrees. I’ll never forget, I
left Waco for college, up and went to Lawton Oklahoma, first semester, when I
left the house I didn’t know it but my mother packed up the van and moved from
Texas to Tennessee. So I didn’t have a place to go back to. You’re going to
get homesick, you’re gonna miss your mama’s cooking, you’re gonna do all that.
Come back and visit. I’ll never forget I went home my sister taking over my room.
I didn’t even have a place to go sleep anymore. We love you, we want you to
represent, but the most important thing you can do is get that degree. Get a head
start on life I want to thank Sam for the great words
of inspiration, Dr. Lopez, everybody else, it’s a great day, outstanding day.
I encourage everybody to stick around you’ve got the the school banners in the
back we have selfies and all that stuff. Enjoy today, this is your day, be
careful going home becasue it’s cold outside. Thank you very much. [Music]

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