ODESSA, Tx (KOSA) -- For anyone that’s played football, the dream of going pro eventually ends. That may happen in sixth grade, in high school or after college. It happens for different reasons for different people.
For the approximately 25 players who tried out for the West Texas Warbirds on Saturday, that dream hasn’t died, its’s just been deferred.
“Talent wise you may need to work on something,” Warbirds head coach Marcus Coleman said. “Mentally you may need to work on something. Or just circumstances of life, which we all have. Everybody’s journey is different. For these guys this is an opportunity for them to show who they are and show what they’re about.”
Quarterback Chris Ware knows as well as anyone the winding path to get to the tryout.
“I played four years at Eastern Oregon,” Ware said. “After that I went to play in Sweden. I played with the Wyoming Cavalry. I played at couple games with the West Texas Wildcatters. Played some semi-pro here or there. It’s been an all over the place journey.”
And what could make a 33-year-old man go to those lengths to play a game? Well look no further than his cleats, featuring the image of his three-year old son.
“He’s the reason I’m out here for sure,” Ware said. “I know this isn’t a career, but just thinking about having him there in the stands watching as daddy plays, that’s what this is about for me.”
The guys Ware was throwing to have their own stories, like Taylor Ward.
Ward played a limited role for the Midland High football team and has spent the last three years in the Marines. On Saturday, he got to pursue his football career.
“It was pretty fun,” Ward said. “It was very competitive. You see people from all across the region showing what they’ve got. And some of them came and brought that heat.”
Over the next several days, the Warbirds coaches will evaluate what they saw, and possibly keep the football dream alive for a few of these players.
“I think I have a shot,” Ware said. “I don’t want to sound arrogant or anything like that. I think I threw the ball well today. Some of those guys made me look better than I probably am, but I think it went pretty well for me.”
“It’s wherever the Lord takes me to be honest with you,” Ward said. “Just if I follow my heart, put my mind to it, anything is possible.”