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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pats' LB Don Davis reflects on faith and choices



By BETSY WILLIAMS CORRESPONDENT


September 30, 2008

Former football stars discuss careers and how to be successful on and off the field

Having a game plan for life is tantamount to being successful. And three athletes, Don Davis, Ernie Dubose and Rhondy Weston, are all well versed in games and planning for success. Last week they shared their stories at Lemon Bay High School's "NFL Night."

Don Davis, Ernie Dubose and Rhondy Weston spoke before the Lemon Bay High School Athletic Department during their inspirational "NFL Night." Each of the speakers shared anecdotes about their first time on the field or other times that had an impact on their lives.

Dubose, a former University of Florida Gator running back and a Port Charlotte High School alumnus, discussed his four-year career with the Gators before he was found to have a heart condition.

"God had a plan for me. I had choices in high school and college, I got my grades, stayed out of trouble and made good decisions," Dubose said. "It's all about making the right decisions, making a commitment, have faith in God, have a passion and setting goals."

Weston, who played with the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and the Gators, talked candidly about family members who did not make good choices.

"You have a choice on what you want to do in life. It's in your hands. Preparing yourself is the key," said Weston, whose NFL career ended because of a knee injury.

Davis, a Super Bowl player with the New England Patriots and a graduate of the University of Kansas, delivered a message that cautioned students that the mistakes they make today may affect their future. Davis encouraged students not to give up future blessings for temporary pleasures.

For the athletes in attendance, Davis told them to make sure they eat a healthy diet. "Color up your plate," Davis said, referring to his diet at NFL training camps. "The more colors on your plate, the healthier."

Each of the speakers also shared anecdotes about their first time on the field or other times that made an impact on their lives.

In discussing what it is like to play before a packed stadium, Weston said, "It's a feeling you can't put into words, a feeling you will never forget."

"NFL Night" was joint effort of teacher Sally Lutz and Tom Catanzarite, athletic director.

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