Christiana’s Chris Chege started for most of the past three years for a team that repeated 2-8 finishes, but leadership doesn’t always show up in the form of victories.
Chege suffered a lat muscle injury in his throwing arm as a sophomore, but knew he had a responsibility to his teammates to stay engaged.
“I knew I was a leader on my team. The position that I play, you can’t show any doubts about anything that you’re doing. You have to keep going and play hard every time.”
Before suffering the muscle injury, Chege made an immediate impact for the Vikings, throwing for over 400 yards, including a 98-yard pass on their first possession, in the 2015 opening game at Conrad.
“That really showed me that I could really compete at that level, and this game is really for me.”
The game was harder at Christiana than for most. As the school’s enrollment continues to drop, it has hurt the numbers on the football field.
In the 2016 opener against Conrad, the game was played on an extremely hot and humid Friday afternoon, giving the players a chance to play after school at home for the only time all season.
Christiana led Conrad 8-7 at halftime on a 25-yard touchdown pass by Chege, but the heat began to really take a toll, as the team scrambled to find bodies that weren’t being ravaged by cramps.
At one point the athletic trainer was trying to stretch out 6 players, while there were barely that many replacements available on the bench.
“It’s not an easy game. We knew we had low numbers, so we just had to give 100% every time, and not worry about the score.”
Chris and the Vikings’ hard work paid off last year, as they got to walk off winners at McKean in their final game of the season 24-14.
After Saturday’s game, Chris says his attention will turn to an attempt to walk on to the football team at Delaware State.
Off the field, Chris says his “dream” is to return to Christiana one day as a physical education teacher.
He cited his gym teacher David Jones for helping him reach the graduation stage, and get him ready for the next part of his life.
“Just this past year, it’s been tough going through my senior year.He’s seen me in my ups and downs, a lot of stress with work and school and sports, but he’s always been there for me.”
It just seems like paying it forward with the leadership Chris Chege showed for Christiana.
The state will get a chance to see him perform Saturday night at the DFRC Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game. Pre-game festivities begin at 5pm inside the stadium, with kickoff slated for 6pm. Tickets will be available at the gate.