“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of dedication,” Hicks said. “Me and my dad, we would get up early every morning at 6 a.m. to work out and get me ready, even during two-a-days, and he’s meant a lot to all of this. A lot of my passion or the sport came from him and I’ve learned so much from him."
D.J. Hicks had been waiting for this moment.
It was a moment of joy and a dream fulfilled on Friday for Hicks, as the senior put on his Under Armour All-American jersey for the first time in front of a crowd of students at the Paetow gym.
The moment was years in the making for Hicks, who had made it a goal to be invited to the game and to play at the highest level.
“Its always been a dream of mine to play in the game,” Hicks said. “I’ve been watching people play in the game since I was a kid. I grew up watching people like Jordan Elliott and others go and play in that game. So to get here, to know I’m going to play in that game and to see my jersey for the first time is just a dream.”
The crowed cheered and celebrated as Hicks showed off his jersey as they celebrated his accomplishment. The 5-star Texas A&M commit knew it was a special moment. And the moment was made sweeter by how much time he and his father, Paetow interim head coach David Hicks Sr., had put in to this to make sure that moment happened.
“It’s been a lot of work and a lot of dedication,” Hicks said. “Me and my dad, we would get up early every morning at 6 a.m. to work out and get me ready, even during two-a-days, and he’s meant a lot to all of this. A lot of my passion or the sport came from him and I’ve learned so much from him. All the work outs, the practices and everything to get here, it’s made it worth it to have this experience.”
The game will be held 2 p.m. Jan. 2 in Orlando Florida at Camping World Stadium, and Hicks cannot wait to enjoy and experience the game. Hicks is the first player from Paetow to be named an Under Armour All-American.
“I just want to go out there and have fun and enjoy the whole thing when I get there,” Hicks said. “I definitely want to show what I can do and showcase my talent, but the most important for me out there is to have a good time and have fun with the whole thing.”
But right now, Hicks focus is on Paetow, the Panthers are right in the middle of the playoff hunt, with everything to play for in the next few weeks, and Hicks and the rest of the team want to make the rest of the season memorable.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to football and showing what we can do,” Hicks said. “We still have a lot to prove, but we have a really good team and we have a chance to do something special here. I just want to let the whole world know what Paetow can do.”
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