Student Athlete Is On Another Level
August 21, 2018
Athletes that strive to go professional in their sport push themselves to their limit and beyond. Junior Dell Pettus is a prime example of an athlete on another level than his teammates. Pettus has played varsity football since his freshman year and started his sophomore year and the years following.
Since his first start, he has impressed his team and coaches. Most athletes try to mimic their favorite players and try to be as good as them, but Pettus is completely self-driven.
“I want my future career to play a professional sport. It is a never-ending process that you continuously get better at what you do,” Pettus said. “Yeah, my parents push me to go after it, but they cannot want in for me. So it is more of me wanting to get better and do what I love on a daily basis for as long as I can.”
Pettus has been named as one of the top 30 high school football players in the north Alabama region. This is a huge step for the Troy commit and his family.
“It feels really good. Going through Twitter you read about all these big-named players coming out of high school. It is an honor to have my name up there with them. Realizing that your hard work paid off means a lot to me and my family,” Pettus said.
Training day-in and day-out is a common goal that every athlete has in common. By training yourself to get up every day and put in the work you desire, the results are simply self-explanatory.
“I train five days a week. It is very tiring but at the same time you get used to it. I have been playing organized sports since I was four-years-old and I have not taken a year off yet. I have played soccer, basketball, baseball and football. Football is definitely the sports I want to go pro in,” Pettus said. “I have always enjoyed football. I love running down the field and scoring touchdowns, making tackles and hearing the crowd yell and scream when you do something great. It is a feeling that I never want to let go of.”
Since he started young, the passion for football has been constantly growing since the beginning of his sports career. Since the first time Pettus heard the crowd yell his name, he has been on a quest to keep that feeling alive.
“As a child, I was very shy. So I liked to keep to myself when I was in doubt. The first time I scored, I heard all the yelling, and that felt really good. As a child those kinds of situations affect you long-term, so after that, I never stopped moving forward with that,” Pettus said. “Playing now it is no different. I hear the announcers scream my name everytime I make a play. It honestly is the best feeling.”
Pettus’s long-term goal does not get in the way of his short-term goals. He likes to motivate his teammates to do better when they mess up, and when he messes up his teammates return the favor. A leader sets examples for his team and allows all of them to meet the requirements they all should. Pettus’s attribution as a leader stands-out above all of his traits as an athlete.
“He is a leader. He is very enthusiastic about the game. From the experiences I have had with Dell as my teammate, in the locker room especially, he just brings a positive attitude. He is never too serious but at the same time, he is very stern. As a leader, he leads by example, and he sets those examples. That reflects on the field because that same type of chemistry we have in the locker room when we joke around is used on the field when we need to get serious,” teammate Trey Howard said. “I can say he is a very strong athlete, but he is not only on a different level physically but mentally. His mindset is different than everyone else’s on the field. He has to be the best on the field because he works for it unlike anyone else. He has to be ahead. If you are not ahead you’re behind, if you are behind you lose.”