NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida— There’s a no-give-up mentality to a Cudas’ football practice.
“We always want to lift our heads once or twice, knock the dust off and get back to it,” said Brandon Cisneros, the New Smyrna Beach high school varsity football head coach.
This is the standard for the New Smyrna Beach High School boys’ football team.
Senior Leader Luke Ouellette lives by this mindset.
“In life, the only thing you can control is how you react to it,” said Luke Ouellette, a senior with the New Smyrna Beach men’s soccer team.
Ouellette’s reaction in difficult times has recently been put to the test.
“I tore my ACL, my meniscus at soccer camp over the summer before junior year, and then I also tore my MCL during soccer season this year,” Ouellette said.
But that didn’t stop him from returning to the sport he’s been practicing since he was three years old.
“At the time I was allowed to work out and do physical activities, my dad and I woke up at 5:30 a.m. before school every morning we worked out,” Ouellette said.
He got to work and led by example.
“You never know. Every game is a different battle so once the whistle blows we don’t know what we’re going to face, so when someone has faced adversity in the past, it allows us to move forward,” coach Cisneros said.
Ouellette motivated her team while learning an important lesson.
“I will never take the little things in life for granted and I will truly cherish the little things in life,” Ouellette said.