On November 16, 2019, PCC’s football team was on the precipice of securing its first winning season in 11 years, with coaches calling it the “finest finish by PCC football”. That night, the team played against Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Within the first quarter, quarterback Edward Norton passed the ball 24 yards to wide receiver Jabari Kindle, scoring the first touchdown of the night. With only five minutes left in the third quarter, the team blocked the opposing team’s punt. PCC finished the last game of the season with a 35-0 score. Throughout the season, Norton scored 17 touchdowns, 11 through the air, and 6 on foot.
During the 2019 football season, Norton helped lead the team to their first winning season since 2008, winning six out of the ten games they played. Last year, he was ranked as one of the top ten student-athletes at PCC. He’s a sophomore this year from Los Angeles and is working towards his associate’s degree in Kinesiology.
“Well, I’m from Los Angeles and I started at East LA Community College,” Norton said. “But I just thought [PCC] was a better fit for me. I just had a little more help around me,” referring to the amount of support he has received from not only his team but the coaches and counselors at PCC as well.
It’s clear that the sport alone is important, but Norton also cherishes the bond that he and his teammates have created.
“We’re more like a family here and I love those guys,” Norton said. “Everyone has everyone’s back. What I like most about football is that I get to go out every week and play with guys I can call my brothers.”
Even during these trying times, it’s important to the team and coaches for the players to focus on school even if they are feeling unmotivated. Norton has created a strong connection not only with his teammates but also with the great coaches at PCC.
“My favorite memory from PCC so far is just the love I get from my coaches and teammates,” Norton said.
“My teammates and coaches help me with any bad play,” Norton said. “Even without sports, [the coaches] try and help me with anything I need. They want to see me succeed.”
However, with the ongoing pandemic still in full effect, remote learning and Los Angeles County’s stay-at-home order has been stressful for Norton and many other students.
There are about 400 student-athletes in PCC’s student population because of the wide variety of men’s and women’s sports that are offered, with football providing 25% of those athletes. Since games and practices have been canceled this fall season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all student-athletes have been stuck inside and unable to play the sports they love.
Many students have vocalized their discomfort with online classes, explaining how they can be more difficult and exhausting than in-person classes, as well as anxiety-ridden. For Norton, the stress comes from not being on the field.
“Football helped me get through school,” Norton said. “Without playing football, I have to try my best to keep my head in the books.”
“Some of the challenges I have is I have to wake up early, but I stay up late because I forget about things,” Norton said. “I also forget about things a lot.”
Norton’s devotion for football and his team is prominent, and he is still dedicated to trying his best in school no matter the circumstances. Whether practices will start again in January or not, he is anxious to get back on the field, with the proper restrictions.
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