Washington’s big man making the grade

Randy Hosear helped Washington defeat Ryan on Thanksgiving. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Randy Hosear knew he could do it.

The hard part was doing it.

Hosear is a senior offensive lineman at George Washington High School, and what he can do on the football field was never in question. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound grunt grew up playing football and started playing high school ball when he was a sophomore.

The tricky part was succeeding in the classroom, where he admits he struggled during his first two years of high school. He always had confidence he could turn it around, but it took a lot of encouragement to actually do it.

“I always thought I was smart and always thought if I focused, I could do well, but I just didn’t do it,” said Hosear, who lives in Bustleton near the high school. “My parents pushed me, then my coaches pushed me and the staff at the school pushed me. They told me that I had to start working. It wasn’t doing it, that wasn’t the problem, the problem was being mentally prepared to start working.”

Hosear struggled because he wasn’t doing the proper work. He wasn’t giving it his all. So last year, he tried as hard as he could, and the improvement was incredible. Hosear got straight A’s across the board.

“It was such a beautiful thing, I was so happy because it’s what I worked for,” Hosear said. “When I told people that I got straight A’s, people didn’t believe me. My friends were laughing, saying there was no way I could do it. I showed them. They didn’t believe me.

“My parents knew I was well because I would screenshot them my tests during the year. When I got my report card, I just put it down and let them look at it. I didn’t show it to them. I know they were proud. They were happy. So was I. It was such a beautiful day. It showed my hard work paid off.”

Hosear is now a star in the classroom and on the football field. And he’s hoping he’s able to do both again in his final year.

When, or even if, he plays football is up in the air after the Public League postponed all sports until at least January because of the coronavirus pandemic. Hosear and his teammates were more than a little upset about the ruling, but they’re doing whatever they can to stay ready and stay focused.

“It crushed me when I heard that because I love playing football,” said Hosear, who was a captain last year and was earmarked to be one again this year. “We really wanted to have a good year this year, and I was much more comfortable.

“I really wanted to have a good year for college. But I wanted to play with these guys again. It’s been hard, we haven’t been able to really do anything as a team since we stopped going to school because of all the restrictions. It’s been hard not seeing them.”

Whenever things go back to normal, Hosear will be ready.

The hope for all fall athletes is that the fall sports will be made up when things return to normal. Details are changing all the time, so nobody is sure, but Hosear knows if he gets another shot at representing the Eagles, he’s going to take advantage of it.

“I worked so hard, but I wasn’t able to do a lot of lifting when the gym wasn’t open, but I was always working hard,” Hosear said. “I would do running,  I would walk, and I would work out in other ways, anything I could do. I reached out to my teammates and made sure they were doing it, too. They were. We all were doing it. We wanted to be ready, and we are. We just have to make sure we keep that same focus for when we start playing.”

Hosear hasn’t selected a college, but now thanks to his good grades, he’s looking forward to getting an offer to play football. He’s had talks with a few schools. Some want him at tackle, others are convinced he’ll be a guard at the next level.

He just wants to play.

“School is the most important thing to me, I started to realize that last year, I really want to get a college education,” Hosear said. “If I can use football to help me get an education, that would be great. That would be amazing.

“I think I want to major in journalism, and do something in sports broadcasting. I like talking to people and if I could be around football, I want to. I hope to be playing the game, but I would love to be around it in any way.”

For that to become a reality, he knows he needs another big year.

“I’m still proving myself, I have to have a big year,” Hosear said. “I have to do the same thing I did last year with my grades. I have to do it in football, too. I have to have a big year. I want to play in college so I still have a lot of work to do.”

And if he can do it, anyone can do it.

“I hope other kids see what I did, I would love for people to see what I did and know they can do it,” Hosear said. “It’s hard, but I did it. And if I can do it, so can they.”