RASHAWN ALLEN — TUNNEL VISION
When you think about High School football there are only a hand full of schools that come to mind and one of those schools is Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s is filled with tradition and pride, you can feel it the moment you step foot on their campus. Football at St. Mary’s is the sport that garnishes the most attention with earning impressive accolades such as 25 League championships, 14 Prep bowl championships, and 7 State championships. This also includes their back to back State championships in the past two seasons. The strong philosophy has been the motto that Orchard Lake has followed through the years. One of those philosophies when it comes to playing football at Orchard Lake is running the football. For the 2016 football season St. Mary’s has one outstanding student athlete that will carry the rushing responsibilities this year and that’s RaShawn Allen.
Allen, 5’9, 195 lbs junior running back is looking to make a splash this year and have everyone’s attention geared to what he plans on doing this season.
Becoming a good running back is not something that comes easily. I asked Allen, what are some of the challenges of being a running back? “There are many challenges of being a running back. First off is using vision to find open holes and making timely cuts. One important ability of a running back is vision. A running back has to be able see the entire field and the holes that are open. Reaction is also a challenge when it comes to being a running back. A split second decision can be the difference between a five yard gain and a sixty yard touchdown. As a running back you react to defenders and making cuts which is one of the main things that separate the good ones from the great ones” said Allen.
With Orchard Lake St. Mary’s coming off another State title, I wanted to know what Allen’s goals were for the 2016 season for the team and for himself. “Our goals are to win our third State championship in a row, win our conference and to let everyone know that we are one team to be reckon with. Personal goals is to be named all-league, 1st team all-Catholic, and 1st team all-state. For stats my goals are to rush for over 20 touchdowns and over 3,000 all-purpose yards. I set high goals for myself because of the confidence I carry” said Allen.
Allen is not shying away from any of the attention he is receiving right now. With experience of playing on Varsity as a freshmen and receiving more of the load his sophomore season, Allen will be the full time starter in the St. Mary’s heavy rushing attack. With his new role and responsibility I asked Allen, what makes you different than other High School running backs? “My work ethic and competitive nature sets me apart from the rest. My willingness is to not allow anyone to stand in the way of my dreams and ability to out work my competition. I believe there is no limit to what I can do regardless of what anyone tells me. I will continue to work the hardest” said Allen.
It’s no secret that Allen will have a breakout season this year. If you look at Allen’s physique, he is built like a Marshall Faulk and plays like a Darren Sporles. He is a deadly one cut running back that makes the defense job a nightmare. Linebackers can’t match up to his speed and defensive backs can’t tackle him in the open field. It’s not much you can do but to just hope and pray you can tackle him before he marches in the end zone. Allen expressed to me what he has done to get prepared for the season. “I believe that anything is possible with the amount of effort you put in. That’s why I force myself to give a maximum effort in whatever I do. I push myself in the weight room and during speed training. On weekends my time is devoted to running hills and field work. I also work on running routes and catching in preparation for the season. With each passing day, I’m pushing myself to a new extent to get better and better” said Allen.
To achieve what we want in life, in certain cases we all have to sacrifice and give up things that may not be in our best interest. To prove to ourselves that we are discipline enough to handle anything that stands in our way. I asked Allen, what are some sacrifices that you have to make to be a student athlete? “I make many sacrifices to be an athlete. Time is a major sacrifice that I make in order to be successful. In order to get to the top I must sacrifice many things along the way. But me sacrificing partying, hanging out with friends, or playing video games is diminutive in comparison with the blessings and rewards that are given” said Allen. Life is too short not to achieve what we want but it’s the sacrifices that we make that determines the outcome.
We all have dreams and goals that we strive for every single day, but by working towards those goals there comes trials and tribulations that we must go through in order to succeed in life. I wanted to ask Allen my final question, how are you chasing your dreams? “I’m chasing my dreams by committing myself fully to my passion. I’m taking each day as an opportunity to get closer to my goals and achieving my dreams, which is keeping my GPA at a 4.2 cumulative and playing the best football I can this year” said Allen.
Watch RaShawn Allen in Orchard Lake St. Mary’s season opener on August 25th against Macomb Dakota.