Pigskin promises

Silas Bravo surrounded by sports and trophies for his college athletic days.
Silas Bravo surrounded by sports and trophies for his college athletic days.
Dillon Laurer

Pigskin Promises

“I promised myself that if you get another surgery like your done, no way you can keep putting yourself through this,” said Silas Bravo when speaking on his fourth ACL tear that ended his football career.

At some point in our lives we have to realize the end of the road may be near for our childhood passions. Silas Bravo and Tytus Latrelle are both for different reasons all too familiar with the sudden end of a sports career and the mental strength it takes to restart your life after your last day playing.

Silas grew up playing all kinds of sports but the one that made him fall in love was football “ I started playing tackle football when I was about 6 . . . and in highschool i realized I want to do this”

Success found Bravo early he made all conference his sophomore season receiving division 1 attention from multiple schools. But injuries soon began playing a key role.

“My junior year week 3 I broke my collar bone . . . during basketball season I tore my ACL”

That was the first of 3 tears on Silas’s right ACL that would force him down the juco path to continue chasing his football career after an injury forced a medical redshirt and playing mostly special teams his second year heading into his last at Cerritos Silas was ready to make it count.

Unfortunately all athletes must face the last day they play the game, and when that day comes you have to be grateful because you’ll never know when that last play is. “I just planted . . . my left one (left knee), I felt it, I knew right away it gave out and I was just on the ground I knew,” many athletes are forced to face the reality that Silas did.

According to a study done by Sports Health, 20% of elite athletes have reported injury as a reason for quitting their sport, and up to 8% of adolescents drop out of sporting activities due to injury or fear of injury.

The end of Silas football career was a mental blow he never thought he would endure “It was football or nothing, this was the plan my whole life I’ve been a student athlete, my brother he’s a student athlete so like that was it, nothing else” said Silas.

Silas had committed himself to the game of football for so long it has become an integral part of who he was so much so he had to refind who he was once playing sports were out of his future.

“I was in a tough spot bro I was questioning everything, like when you work so hard for something . . . everything seemed to be fitting right and then just for it to come crashing down . . . I started questioning my faith, but I credit my mom cause she didn’t let me sulk”

It is speculated by some studies that up to 85% of athletes battle depression post injury and a large part of this is due to the massive role sports play in their lives .

But that massive role sports plays in an athlete’s life doesn’t mean that once their time in the sport is over their life is as many have to struggle down the road to self discovery.

For Silas he found a new interest while also finding a way to enjoy the game he loves football

“ I grew to like Journalism a lot, I really liked writing stories, I really being in the field interviewing people, and Talon Marks helped me out”

While his journey on the football field might have been over through the help of faith and his family Silas was able to find a new passion that helped him remember that being a football player did not define him.

Many define themselves through the sports they play and that’s why the process of finding who you really are can be so difficult

“So when you first quit, you kind of go through this like ego death per se,” stated Tytus Latrelle, former Cerritos College football player, “ where you just kind of like, oh, you know, this the last six years of my life, the last half decade, I’ve been committed to be an athlete.”

Tytus had a slightly different story to Silas finding baseball as his first love before switching over to boxing, remaining an athlete all throughout childhood Tytus came back to football his freshman year of highschool.

It went from a sport he tried in his youth that wasn’t for him to consuming most of his life “And I mean, there was even a point where I was on JV and varsity. So I was playing Thursdays and Fridays. So like, it became like my whole life at one point,”

The sport became a part of Tytus’ everyday life and he enjoyed the fast pace physical style of the game, landing hard hits from the cornerback position. He loved the game and was good at it, good enough to suit up for college ball playing for the Cerritos Falcons

But as the sport continued to play a major part in Tytus’s life heading into college a hamstring injury would sideline him for three weeks

“ It gave some other corners a chance to shine.. . . I think there was a time I only got like, uh, two series in the game and I had two fumbles on the same series. still didn’t start me. And after that, that’s when it hit me.”

The politics of the sport had made Tytus lose his love for the game but with it being a major driving force in his life up to that point he had to rediscover himself.

“Yeah. Yeah. You feel lost for, for, for a minute, you know what I’m saying? Once something that you love so dearly doesn’t work out for you and you feel like you like, per se, um, didn’t accomplish your goal.”

Despite being in his early twenties Tytus’s dedication to football had made him chalk himself up as a failure because he hadn’t found success there.

Football had been the make or break for Tytus when it came to college and the pain of not achieving the football dream meant he needed to find new avenues to express himself.

So after college he decided to delve into entrepreneurship where he’s found he’s much more than just a football player. Where Tytus had thought like so many other athletes that he failed after his college football experience, he had truly begun his life and was done letting his athletic ability define the man he was going to become.

That man that he has become has done various work including clothing design, painting, and now digital marketing where he works in the 300 project a marketing campaign with artists like Lil Baby, Gunna and Meg Thee Stallion.

Tytus had discovered a love for art and fashion that was always there but suppressed by his desire to make something out of the gridiron. Without the pressure of the game Tytus was able to flourish in his post athlete life, a stark reminder to all athletes that sports are only a fraction of the man you are.

Tystus and Silas have found success in many other aspects of their own lives outside of sports showing that the mental struggle of overcoming the end of an athletic career is hard but never impossible.

However when asked about if he misses it Tytus had this to say “ Nah, fuck no. I miss playing, man. I loved that shit”



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About the Contributors
Peyton Oliveira
Peyton Oliveira, Staff Writer
Peyton Oliveira is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering sports, campus and community news. When not reporting he enjoys writing screenplays, listening to music and reading books. He is hoping to start an independent MMA journalism outlet and transfer to a Cal State.
Dillon Laurer
Dillon Laurer, Staff Writer
Dillon Laurer is a staff writer for Talon Marks. He enjoys playing & watching sports, playing video games, cooking and working on cars. He also plays football at Cerritos College and hopes to transfer in May.
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