Coach’s son sets game aside


Kindell Arcizo

Jacob Maple is taking a break from football to write.

Kindell Arcizo, Staff Reporter

Junior Jacob Maple’s face lights up when talking about his football memories: Playing at the age of 8 on the KFL Titans. Going on to the Creekwood Colts and Cleveland Indians. And, most recently, lining up with the Kingwood Park Panthers.

He recalls the excitement of being a young football, of playing a game he has always loved.

With Maple’s father Clayton Maple coaching him in Little League, football became “a way of life.” From Jacob to Kyle to Connor, the game is something that runs in the family for the Maple boys.

Not only did his father coach him in Little League, but when Maple got to high school, his father was there, too — as the school’s head football coach.

Maple played receiver for K-Park for two years, but at the beginning of the current  football season, Maple quit the team. He still enjoyed playing, but needed a break, he says.

It was not a decision he made lightly. After all, he says, “it’s a sport that I’d always played and loved and still do.”

He thought it would be awkward not to play because of his father’s position, but the coach’s reaction made the decision easier.

At first, his father was sad. Later, however, Coach Maple told his son that he was proud of him.

“He was not afraid to pursue his true passions: photography, video and writing,” Coach Maple says.

The player’s decision shook many of his teammates.

“I myself considered quitting,” said senior Matthew Ogle, “because I, along with Maple and many others on the team, work extremely hard every day in Texas weather for my football team and don’t get to play in games.”

Even though Maple isn’t on the football team, he still goes to every football game; shooting pictures, taking videos, writing stories.

“I still love the game and supporting my school and Dad,” he says.

The coach, meanwhile, loves seeing his son on the sidelines.

“I get to be around him,” says Coach Maple. “And I’m happy he’s doing something that he enjoys.”

Maple doesn’t rule out a return to the field. When asked if he will consider going back his response is: “Possibly.”