Interview with Zoey Joseph | Submitted by Tank Todd Nomination & Photography by Laura Beth Eikert Bailey Louisiana
The Nomination: Tra’Varius Tra’Vonn better known as Tank Todd loves everything about football...the hard work, relationships, trust, competition, strategy and planning. Most of all he loves the physical contact of the sport. He is a 15-year-old sophomore. Despite his young age, his size, talent and work ethic earned him a starting position at left guard in his freshman year with the quite successful Jena Giants. He has a strong support base of friends and family. He imagines his older sister, who passed from this life to the next at the tender age of one month and one day, among his fans. He would have loved for her to see him play. He is polite and easy to talk to.... a gentle giant until he puts on the uniform and transforms into the Tank!
What aged did you start playing football and has it always been a passion of yours? I became interested in the game of football when I was eight years old and it always has been something I really enjoyed doing.
Do you have any family members or friends that has helped you become a better player? My uncle Tyrone has been a big part of my career. He played also, but his career ended for him as a senior when he was in a car accident and was paralyzed. Even since the beginning he’s had a big impact on my career helping me push to my limits telling me to never give up. As long as I keep God first, I can do all things. I also have an older sister that passed away at a month old. Every day I push myself to put a smile on her face in the weight room, on the practice field, and on the game field because I know she’s watching from heaven above. What makes your team work so well together and do you have more of a leading role within the team? My teammates and I work year-round together to better ourselves for the upcoming season. The pain we go through during those times brings us closer together because you know your brother is going through all this physical pain for you and that he will put it all out on the game field as well. That’s what brings us closer because we can trust that the person beside us will give their best. I’m not a talkative person, so I try to help lead by example. I help the younger guys understand that if you work hard your time will come. The beginning of my freshman year I wasn’t a kid that would play varsity, but I busted my tail off and earned a starting spot and I try to let them know their time will come also.
How do you keep a strong work ethic and a busy schedule of school and other social activities? I let go and let God. He helps me to be able to stay on the honor roll and be a successful athlete as well.
How would you describe an average week on the team and how tough do you train on the daily? If you had one day with my team you would understand the importance of being humble. We work not thinking of ourselves but of our brothers. The way we train is unreal; we work day in and out and never have a break. Yet we understand that’s what it takes to win. We have explosive workouts because you can’t be a football player if you aren’t explosive.
Would you consider playing football after high school? I would like to play football after high school because it’s a big dream of mine and get a scholarship.