By Stephanie Guevara
Every weekend since August, freshman quarterback Phillip Tran’s family hasn’t minded driving six hours from San Jose to Los Angeles to attend his football games.
“The traveling never crossed my mind. It’s a matter of being there no matter where my son is. I will give up anything to not miss any of his games,” Phillip’s father Nathan said.
The Tran family decided to devote every weekend of the football season to see Phillip play. Nathan and his family leave San Jose Friday nights and drive back Sunday mornings.
Phillip said it’s a special feeling to have his family in the stands during his games. As a kid, that wasn’t always case. His family couldn’t watch him play as often due to his father’s battle with cancer.
“I remember I was one of the kids who didn’t have their parents in the stands. For the little league games and the practices, my mom would take me, but sometime she had to take care of my dad. I matured in that time and football help me through it,” Phillip said.
Football became an important part of Phillip’s after it helped him overcome tough moments.
Phillip was 8 years old when his father began his battle with cancer. He said football was an escape from the hardship he encounter in life at the time.
“I started to play football during the time my dad had cancer. It was kind of a way for me to let my emotions out while my dad was sick,” Phillip said.
Though Phillip used football as an emotional outlet then, eventually it developed into his passion.
“Football helped him overcome his fear of losing his dad. Now he doesn’t give up easily because football is his passion. His dad was there for him, even when he was sick, he was watching him play,” Phillip’s mother Haena said.
Nathan said that it’s more important to him that Phillip be a good person rather than a good football player.
“One reason why I adore him is because he’s an amazing person and he just happens to be a football player, which happens to be less important,” Nathan said.
Haena said that going through adversity in life made Phillip a stronger person and as a result, he knows how to cope with tough situations.
During a football game against Antelope Valley College, Phillip had to leave the game because he dislocated his shoulder. However, he started the following game against San Diego Mesa College.
Haena said it doesn’t surprise her that Phillip was able to heal from the injury quickly because he is strong.
“When that happened I was thinking ‘Man, I came all the way out here [from San Jose] just for that to happen.’ I just knew I had to recover fast. I told the physical trainer I had to play the next game. I recovered fast and I ended up playing the following week,” Phillip said.
Football head coach Bobby Godinez said Phillip’s recovery shows that he a strong player and person.
“He’s a tough and resilient player. He’s going to do what he wants in his life because of the resilience that he has not just off the field, but in school. He’s going to be a success story regardless of how he does on the field,” Godinez said.
Nathan said it is never surprising to him to see his son comeback from any problem he faces.
“It’s doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s an unselfish person. He puts the team before himself. There was no way he was going to be kept from playing the following week,” Nathan said.