Senior Jonathan King’s passion for football began when he was in the third grade. He joined a NYS (National Youth Sports) team and became so tied up in the game that he continued to play the sport for many years. He loved everything about the sport, but his favorite part was the bond formed with teammates along the way.
When freshman year rolled around, King realized he may not be able to play as long as he had aspired to. He had grown up with heart problems, but they were beginning to get worse. King’s health was at risk, and actions had to be taken.
Over the years, he’s missed many football practices due to his heart troubles. Some days he would feel too tired to practice with his team.
This year, at the beginning of the football season, King was informed that he required surgery to get a pacemaker. The surgery took place mid-September, and the procedure went well. While King is no longer able to play football, he is okay with the outcome.
“It was always something I expected, so it wasn’t a huge traumatic event,” King said.
Even though King can no longer join his teammates on the field, he is still very much involved with football. He attends the practices and meetings, and he supports his team from the sidelines during games. King is there to help his team reach their goal.
Head football coach Jeffrey Fleener shared some advice that he gives athletes, like King, when they are faced with no longer playing.
“Everything that happens is part of a bigger plan. At some point, everyone is going to reach that point when their playing days are over, and it is what they do the rest of their life that really matters,” Fleener said. “Playing high school football is about more than Friday nights, it is about all the things you learn about yourself and about life through being on a football team.”
Update: Two weeks after King’s surgery, his Cardiologist cleared him to play again. He will be able to join his team during playoffs. When asked how he felt about his news King said, “I was so excited. At first I thought that I would never be able to play, but hearing that gave me the motivation to recover quickly and get back to normal life.”