Colin Edwards- Team over Self
TS - You lost your senior season entirely as a lineman. Many players got to play some form of football this fall but lineman were sidelined with the 7 on 7 format. A crushing blow I'm sure, how have you avoided letting it make you bitter or hold you back even more?
CE - Obviously I was devastated when I learned I would miss out on my senior season but I did my best to maintain a positive attitude. I found other ways to challenge myself physically and I spent a lot of time reflecting. I focused on being thankful for the many seasons of football I have been able to play. While it was disappointing to miss out on my final season I can't help but be grateful for the countless memories I have made with my teammates and coaches over the years.
TS - At the end of every game they stick a mic in the face of the QB or Running back. All great football minds know the game is won on the line but it is the land of the forgotten and it is far from glamorous. What does that teach you about journey vs destination?
CE - While the offensive line doesn't often receive as much credit, in my mind our journey is just as fulfilling as the star players. We might not be scoring touchdowns ourselves but ultimately we are contributing to our teammates success. When I can help allow a running back to walk into the end zone untouched I feel just as happy as the running back will feel when he's swarmed by interviewers. For offensive lineman the destination is rarely stardom, instead it's about helping our teammates become stars.
TS - Playing such a brutal position for such little recognition teaches a lot of
intrinsic value. What has it taught you about yourself?
CE - It has taught me a lot about sacrifice and what my body is truly capable of. My job is to sacrifice my body play after play to keep my teammates safe. When doubting if I would be able to effectively block a player I would remind myself if I failed my teammates could be hurt. The realization that I was protecting others allowed me to unlock more strength and endurance out of my body then I thought I could.
TS - The majority of the time a lineman gets noticed is when he is holding or missed a blocking assignment. How do you deal with that while still feeling like you've done a good job?
CE - Supportive teammates are a crucial part of feeling as though you've done a good job. I've been lucky enough to always play with quarterbacks and running backs that are very appreciative of the job we're doing up front.
TS - Word has it that you've decided to pick up a lax stick? What got you excited about that and how has it gone so far?
CE - When I heard spring sports would be allowed to have playoffs I knew I would regret
missing out on a chance to play competitively on a team one last time. Lacrosse was intriguing due to the level of physicality that is the closest to resembling football out of all the spring sports. I'm playing defense and I have really enjoyed it so far. I was pretty nervous as I had never picked up a lacrosse stick before but I'm getting the hang of it now.
TS - There is some crossover of physicality, how does it feel to smack around again after losing your senior football season
CE - The physicality is the main reason I decided to play lacrosse. It feels great to be able to use some of the violent energy I have stored up that I didn't get to use this fall. In lacrosse I have a lot more opportunities for big hits due to the fast moving nature of the game. It's definitely been great to use my body again in a way that's only legal in contact sports.
TS - You picked up rock climbing this year. What was the attraction there?
CE - As a bigger guy I have always thought rock climbing wasn't for me. I was bored this winter and seeing so many other gym members climb, my lifting partner, Atticus, and I had to give it a tr
y. Improving hasn't been easy but the combination of being both mentally and physically challenging has kept me climbing. I'm excited to try climbing outdoors this summer.
TS - What's next on the horizon for you?
CE - Next year i'll be heading to the University of Maine to major in biology. After that I plan on attending optometry school to pursue my dream career.
TS - You won the Circle of Courage award for Generosity your senior year. What would you tell the kids coming up behind you about embracing that virtue?
CS - Embracing the generosity quadrant gives a team the ability to establish a culture in which everyone feels welcome. The way I chose to be generous with my teammates most often was by simply giving them my time. It means a lot to the younger guys when an upperclassmen acknowledges them and recognizes that they are working just as hard as everyone else. By taking the time to form relationships with all the players and providing feedback when needed and compliments frequently a group that cares for each other can be formed. It takes time, you have to be willing to be generous with your time to form these relationships that will turn a team into a family.