CHICAGO – Robin Ense-Walker and her ex-husband Jeffery Walker are ecstatic over the news that their 14-year-old son Brayden is part of the US All-Star Youth football team.
“I am so proud of him,” said his mother on Monday. “To be a national champion at only 14.”
It has been quite a road for young Brayden, who has been playing football since he was just five years old. But his mom says his destiny was written in the stars.
“He was born on Superbowl Sunday, February 5, 2006,” she said. “He was destined to play football.”
But it isn’t all just ball for Brayden, he has maintained a 4.0 average through studies while honing his impressive skills as a defensive tackle.
Brayden plays for the High Park Spartans, a club team in Chicago, rather than high school.
Brayden only makes it home to M’Chigeeng about once a year, and this year his March break trip was interrupted by the lockdown over COVID-19, but he remains undaunted.
“We are on lockdown here,” said Brayden, who will be moving on to Grade 9 next season. “We are doing classes online now.”
Brayden was selected to play in the DI Specs Tournament for the national championship by his team, which has dominated the league three years running.
“It was quite an honour to be selected,” he said. “This was the third year I tried out. My team is definitely a group of talented players.”
Brayden is heading into Grade 9 with his eye on the football prize—playing in the NFL. Standing at 5-foot 10-inches and 215 pounds in Grade 8 he has the size to go with the drive to follow in the footsteps of his favourite player Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams. Brayden has a massive championship ring for his finger from the youth championships, and one day he plans to add an NFL championship ring to his collection.