VENICE – If you want the personification of joy, look for Clint Calhoun on the sidelines after Venice wins a football game.
“I stood here Friday night in the same seat we’re sitting in now, and watched the time run off the clock, and for an old 57-year-old man with a tear rolling down my cheek, watching him jump in the players arms, it’s pure joy,” said Ken Calhoun, Clint’s Dad.
It’s Clint’s ninth year with the team, and he’s always dreamed of going to state.
“I love my football team, with all of my heart, they’re my family,” Clint said.
Ken says the 24-year-old’s football family has helped him grow.
“He use to run away when he would get upset, and they caught him out here going across the baseball field trying to run, the police and the staff came and caught him, Coach Peacock and the guys taught him you can’t do that,” Ken said.
Ken says football teaches Clint perseverance.
“He would get very frustrated if you beat him in Ping-Pong he didn’t like losing, if you beat him in pool he didn’t like losing, but he learned to except defeat, he learned to except struggle, or watching one of the players get chewed out by Coach Shannon is a work of art,” Ken said. “And Clint, I watch him watch them, and he knows when to approach a player, when not to approach a player just from being out here.”
Players need Clint too, and don’t play a game until Clint delivers his pre-game speech.
“Starting on Saturday morning after a win or a loss, mainly wins around here, Clint will be preparing his speech for the next week.”
Clint’s message to the team this week is simple…
“Don’t give up, keep your head up the whole time, I will always be by their side,” Clint said.
Venice plays Saturday at 3 inside Camping World Stadium.