Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 21
BY CHARLETTE DAIGNEAULT
Bright stadium lights shine down on the players. Football coaches watch the team’s every move; cheerleaders bring their spirit; and those who came to watch their team play cheer and roar from the school bleachers—it’s game time. For Nipomo High School senior Brandon Hettenhouser, this is what his typical Friday night looks like. During football season, that is.
Hettenhouser plays wide receiver and cornerback for the Titans. Besides football, Hettenhouser also runs for the track team.
“I’ve been playing football since the age of 7, and I’ve been running track for two years,” Hettenhouser said. “Football is my life; I love the sport—it’s just my passion.”
But there did come a time in his life when Hettenhouser was robbed from time with football.
“My freshman year I was injured with Achilles tendonitis,” he said. “It took me about eight months to recover. The only athletic thing I could do was lift during that time.”
Being injured has not been the only challenge Hettenhouser has faced during his lifetime. He also moved from another state and switched schools, all before his freshman year.
“I moved from Texas to California,” Hettenhouser said. “Everyone calls me ‘Texas’ at Nipomo; it’s what I’m known by.”
The move, however, did not stop Hettenhouser from achieving his goals. He works hard by training regularly and even taking summer classes to move forward with his education. There is one moment in particular that stands out to Hettenhouser in terms of his successes.
“We beat the school reception record with a score of 63,” he said. “That was my proudest moment. I also train five days a week for two hours a day.”
In the future, Hettenhouser plans to use his experiences in athletics for a career.
“I’m undecided on what college I want to go to, but I want it to be a Division I school,” Hettenhouser said. “I want to major in kinesiology and become a fitness trainer. I want to be able to make people feel better about themselves and make them healthy.”
Hettenhouser’s athletic career taught him a few life lessons, but one in particular is most important to him.
“I learned to never give up and just keep trying,” he said. “Just never give up.”