Having Faith in football

Senior+Faith+Douglass+finds+her+home+on+the+football+field.

Claire Meyer

Senior Faith Douglass finds her home on the football field.

Courtesy of Kale Steed

Ever since I was little, I somehow knew I belonged on a football field. I spent most nights either watching practice while my dad coached, critiquing football film or watching the NFL. Being around the game so much, I never thought I would end up absolutely loving football and everything it entails. Football is the Douglass family’s favorite pastime by far. 

My dad coached Little League Football for 14 years, instilling a love for the game in both of my brothers and eventually me. That meant every Tuesday and Thursday night I got to run around practice as a ball girl, put reward stickers on helmets, and cheer on the boys as my dad mercilessly chewed them out. We would show up to games three or four hours before the gates were open and then talk about the same game-changing play for weeks. As I grew up in my brothers’ huge shadows, I knew I belonged under the Friday night lights.

As I grew up in my brothers’ huge shadows I knew I belonged under the Friday night lights.”

— Faith Douglass, 12

As everyone’s passion for pigskin grew, my dad started to realize my oldest brother Dylan’s hard work and desire for a career in football could actually pay off. We began the recruiting process. I say we because it was a joint effort for sure. The recruiting world is like none other. Dylan began looking at several colleges looking at him, but the only knowledge of recruiting I had at the time was watching my favorite movie, “The Blind Side.”

I went on many college visits, football recruiting meetings and several summer showcasing camps. I soon realized that my role in the recruiting world was the same as S.J. Tuohy’s in “The Blind Side.” These colleges sell themselves not only to the players but to the little sisters as well. This process went on and on until my next brother, Dayne, signed his letter of intent. Every time we run into some college coaches, they jokingly ask when I will begin playing the Douglass middle linebacker position. As funny as they think they are, it is always the same joke with all the coaches, even to this day. When Dayne approached his senior year, I realized this could easily come to an end, and that was when I knew I loved everything about Texas high school football.

My parents always told me I would make a great sideline reporter one day with all the knowledge and experience I had around football players. This always seemed like a far-fetched dream until I fell in love with journalism through sports writing. I still remember the night last year when I came home from watching the Canyon High football team’s first loss and ranted play-by-play to my dad about everything they botched. I didn’t know it then, but pursuing this dream is exactly where I want to be. My gut feeling of knowing I was meant to be on the football field was dead on.

My gut feeling of knowing I was meant to be on the football field was dead on.

— Faith Douglass, 12

I took four required classes this summer so I could have as many class periods during the school year as possible to dive deeper into the sports journalism world. I began looking for a sports reporter to intern under and came across a family friend, Kale Steed, who covered my brothers’ careers for years. In addition to writing for the school newspaper, I now intern with Steed. I went on several media days with him to Palo Duro, Tascosa, Canadian, Pampa, WT High, Randall, Gruver and Fritch.

I cannot comprehend how lucky I am to spend all my extra time traveling the Panhandle with an award-winning sports journalist, meeting and interviewing quarterbacks and head coaches. But above all, I work to become a better journalist and lover of the game. I can’t wait until games begin this year and every year after until the day I die. Football season is definitely the most wonderful time of the year.