Sports Editor Justin Kline asked Plant City-area football players what fuels them on and off the field.
Senior defensive lineman Corey St. John's hard work has paid off, as he's been named one of the Plant City Raiders' team captains for 2016.
St. John credits his parents, especially father-son bonding moments, for showing him what it means to be a good person and teammate.
Your coach named you a captain this year and expects you to anchor the defensive line. What makes you a great player?
I put my teammates before me and try to go hard, as much as I can, on every play. I just don’t stop. I do a lot on the field to help out my teammates, coach them up when they need help, do drills and stuff like that. I jumped from 205 to almost 315 right now – I took the weight room real hard this year. I just keep trying real hard.
Do you have a pre-game ritual?
No ritual. I just listen to music to hype me up, get my mind right for the game.
What’s in your iPod before a game?
21 Savage, Chief Keef and Lil Wayne.
What’s been your proudest moment as a Raider?
Every moment with my teammates. There’s no individual moment. Every time I’m with them, it’s a good time.
Does any one game stand out from the rest?
The Durant game. That game’s always hype. Rival teams just going at it. I liked last year’s game, where we took that trophy back to where it belongs.
What drives you to be the person you are today?
My parents. They always taught me to do the right thing, even when nobody’s watching, and just be a good man … my dad and my mom taught me to do the right things every day, day by day, do things that no one else wants to do and be a good person at heart.
What experiences have you had that helped you grow as a person?
My dad, I’m always with him. He always tells me to come with him when he goes to do stuff for his work. He’s just trying to teach me to do things the right way and treat everybody with respect. He’s a mechanic. He owns his own place in Tampa.
What’s the most important thing he’s ever taught you?
Do things that no one else really wants to do, and have the integrity to do the right thing when no one’s watching you.
How have you applied your dad’s lessons to football?
Like when Coach tells us to do push-ups in the weight room, and he turns his back, everybody likes to stop, but I just keep going.