- Faith & Family
Most high school sports fans here in Liberty City are familiar with the story of Telly Lockette. He’s the 30-something, former Miami Northwestern High School star and Idaho State All-American who came back home to give back to his community. Along the way, he survived his own life-threatening situations but never gave up, never lost his focus and always worked hard to make a difference.
Now Lockette, the head coach for the Miami Central High School football team, is poised to capture a second state championship in a row with his talented Rockets. He and his coaching staff have overcome the naysayers who doubted them last year. Most recently, he has kept his team’s eyes on the prize, despite efforts from unidentified sources to derail his team by accusing their quarterback of being ineligible to play because of living outside of the school’s boundary zone. Facing this charge and the potential of having to forfeit their unblemished 10-0 winning record, Lockette has led his boys into the playoffs and they have so far left no prisoners.
Lockette says it’s been hard to keep his young players from listening to and being worried by the rumors and whispers. But he and his staff have been able to keep them on track. For many of these boys, sports may be their only ticket to escaping a community where more Black boys face chronic unemployment, long-time imprisonment or death, than they do college, marriage and positive careers.
Lockette is one of the good guys and a role model for all of our children. In his quiet, unassuming way, he continues to mold our boys into productive, honest, hard-working men. Whether Central repeats its feat from last year or not, they are still already winners because of Lockette’s selfless efforts. We need more men like him to take their place in our community.