Clayton Demas started dreaming of a state championship when he was 8 years old playing with the Taos Young America Football League. Together with his YAFL teammates, they “always talked about it.” As they bonded during those early years of play, the dream was constantly on their minds.
It wasn’t always easy. It’s just before Christmas his senior year and Demas can now enjoy his first-ever lunches at liberty. For the rest of his high school career, lunch has been accompanied by films and study hour. Demas’s commentary on this sacrifice? A shrug and “keeps you out of trouble.”
Even with lunch hour occupied, trouble has ways of finding people. After a particularly bitter loss to Robertson, a game they lost not by getting beat but by “fighting with each other,” Demas knew they were in for it at practice on Monday. “300 yards of bear crawls,” he anticipated.Demas decided he “didn’t want to go through with the punishment,” so, without telling anyone, he and two other players, Tyler Gomez and Isaiah Martinez, decided not to. They ran off to Baskin Robbins instead of going to practice.
Seated around a table, they joked about the far-fetched possibility of coach Abreu driving past and seeing them there. Of course, he didn’t drive by. He walked in.
A few words later, they were on their way to practice. “He saw what we didn’t see,” Demas said.
“You can push through more than you think you can,” Demas says. Football “made us more tough and taught us to believe in each other.” Now, Demas has “higher expectations.”
No matter what next year brings, Demas knows what it takes to bring an idea from a dream to a reality.
“Football’s made life easier,” Demas said.
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