By: Asia Williams

It is very common to hear about athletes chasing the American football dream, however junior John McDonald’s dedication to the sport is like no other. Growing up in many different sides of Houston such as Memorial, South Park, Sunnyside, and Third Ward, McDonald has been chasing his own football dream for the past 14 years and continues to do so at Lamar High School. Starting as early as the age of three, he was highly inspired by his older brother. “He is a good inspiration when training together. We would work feet in the field to train mobility,” McDonald stated. He mentioned that growing up with an older sibling who played the same sport was never difficult. Even though they both played different positions at the time, he always found it as fun motivation.

Not only did McDonald and his older brother play together, football always ran in the family. McDonald’s father played football with his brothers as well, and they all played with their father in their time. McDonald’s cousins on his dad’s side also played for a while. In his younger years, McDonald played football outside of school on a little league team called American Youth Football. He was placed on the 3rd Ward 49ers team where he played until middle school and then switched to a different league team, Texas Youth Football Association. Here, he played for the Southside Jr. Marlins. McDonald described playing for these teams as having a second and bigger family. “We are always connected in a bond that felt deeper than blood.”

However, playing for this second family of his came to an end in his last year of middle school. In eighth grade, it was McDonald’s first year playing football for a school team at Crispus Attucks Middle School. Not only was it his first year playing school football, but he was also selected for an all-star team. He played for both the 713 Cardinals and the South Houston All Stars. Since he already had previous experience playing football, he found middle school football very easy. This allowed his skills to stand out to recruiters at football games. In between the time of eighth grade and his first year of high school, he continued to train and workout in his downtime with his older brother who currently plays football at Texas State University as a running back.

McDonald’s excellent football performances drew attention his way. High school recruiters gave him the opportunity to join Lamar High School’s football team after watching him play throughout his eighth-grade year. Playing JV football his freshman year, he still found it easy. Though compared to middle school football, the teamwork aspect changed dramatically in high school. His feelings about the difficulty flipped when he got accepted onto varsity soon after. He described varsity as a whole different world compared to JV. “Varsity is a ruthless level, unlike freshman and middle school where coaches try to get everyone in,” he said. “Varsity is where only the best and second best play. Nothing more.”

It wasn’t until his sophomore year when he decided to start playing rugby while still pursuing football. McDonald’s recent choice of playing rugby was a shock to his family, but they support him in rugby just as much as they support him in football. He chose to play rugby because it was very similar to football, and he felt like trying something new. He has been training hard to get better in rugby by attending rugby camps. So far, he has attended Rugby Saber Cats U18 and continues to extend his rugby journey.

 McDonald mostly looks up to his teammates around him and his positioner coordinator. He believes that football and rugby can instill patience, discipline, and commitment. “At the end of the day, it comes down to the player. It’s about what we individually take from the game and use later in life.” He plans on continuing his defensive tackle position in football along with his rugby career while pursuing an education in electrical engineering. He currently still plays football for Lamar High School as a defensive

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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