Hampton teen honored for essay

Jerry Clark
| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:54 p.m.

Passion for sports is often shown by pounding out a tough yard or playing hurt, but one Hampton teen showed his passion for football through the power of the written word.

Charlie Ferguson, a seventh grader at Hampton, wrote an essay for the NFL Play 60 contest in hopes of winning a package from the NFL including Super Bowl tickets.

Ferguson didn't win the grand prize, but at the local level, his essay earned him a pair of tickets for the Steelers game against Cleveland on Dec. 30. and a Steelers prize pack.

Ferguson's father, Tom, said his son asked if he could participate in the activity, then took it all upon himself to write and submit his entry.

“The Steelers were pretty cool about it,” Tom Ferguson said. “They even upgraded the tickets to sideline passes.”

Charlie Ferguson is excited about the opportunity to stand on the field with his favorite team and his favorite player Mike Wallace — the player he wrote about.

“I have to thank my English teacher (Mrs. Bolton) from sixth grade,” Charlie said. “She helped me with my writing a lot.”

Ferguson gave the essay contest a whirl last year but did not get the results he had hoped for. So he polished up on his writing skills for the second go-round and wrote an inspiring essay about Wallace.

“Hines Ward was my favorite player, but with him retiring, I learned a lot about Mike Wallace by writing a biography about him for school,” Ferguson said. “I used a lot of description and I had to revise a lot. The essay was only allowed to be 70 words.”

The essay also encompassed how Ferguson's activities each day included exercise. By writing about Wallace and how he inspired him to get out with his dad and brother and bond through exercise, Ferguson found a winning topic.

Here is Charlie's essay:

Mike Wallace inspires me to be fit because when I grow up I would like to be an NFL wide receiver so he inspires me to run, jog, ride my bike and throw the football with my dad. He also inspires me to get stronger and lift weights. Since Mike Wallace is a football player and football players need to eat healthy, I eat most of the main food groups every day fruits, veggies, grains, etc.

My family likes to work out at least two hours a day and me and my brothers like to have a contest to see which one of us can play outside the most. We are very big football fans so sometimes we go outside into the street, get as many people as we can to play a pick-up game. One time I had a thirty-yard catch for a touchdown. Sometimes we play a basketball game.

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or jeclark@tribweb.com.

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