12th Man

I was blessed to be a part of the Cincinnati McNicholas HS football banquet recently. All of us at SportsLeader are very proud that Sam Becker took home the prestigious "12th Man" award for his service and virtuous leadership devoted to his football team.

Congratulations, Sam.

Here below is a testimonial from his head coach and another short note from Sam about what it means to him to be a real man.

Virtue = Strength, Lou 

Our number one goal at McNicholas High School is to develop our football players into outstanding young men, first and foremost. The Sports Leader Program has been an integral part of this process and has been a tremendous support system since it's inception this past season. They helped us articulate our vision by providing a working model that guided us throughout the season and beyond. I am convinced that our success has a direct correlation to this program. They have helped us become a family, caring less about ourselves and more about the people around us. Sports Leader will continue to be a part of McNicholas Football for years to come.

Mike Orlando 
Head Football Coach 
Archbishop McNicholas High School


I find it fitting to write about what a real man just a few weeks removed from my 18th birthday. A real man can be strong, smart, resilient, and helpful. But to me the best quality that a man can have is HEART, Heart to keep loving, heart to keep fighting, heart to accept nothing but his best, in our case, each other’s best. Every successful person has something that drives to become great, whether it be family, coach, criticism, an injury, thrill of competition, or maybe a disability that causes a person to be sidelined from the sports he loves. But it is heart that keeps them going. Heart perfects a man’s talent. What motivates you can only take you so far, but it heart that wills you to reach the climax of your success.

Real men also love. Love is very present on our team. A quality football program is more than just a group of coaches trying to teach kids a game, they are a family. Fathers keeping the brothers , and the bothers have fun, hangout, pick on the younger ones, and may even fight a little bit. Most importantly they protect each other on the battle field.One action of love I saw this year was when our quarterback was sacked and being beaten on the ground behind the play. Instantly one of our players ran over and threw the opposing player off our brother. Of course penalty flags were thrown, but when one of your brothers is being jumped, wouldn’t you go help? I know if I was out there when that play occurred, I would’ve done the same thing in a heartbeat.

God Bless, 
Sam Becker