Bros serving, playing together

Taral Patel, News Editor

Both experienced football players in their own right, the Elqutub brothers look to each other for support and inspiration.   Yaser Elqutub, a senior at Northwestern State University, was selected by the American Football Coaches’ Association’s(AFCA) as one of twenty-two outstanding football student-athletes recognized by AFCA Allstate Good Works Team for their extraordinary dedication to community service. For their efforts, the student-athletes will be recognized during halftime at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on January 3rd 2012.

Throughout the past four years, Yaser has completed over 200 hours of community service ranging from shoe donation drives for children in parts of Africa, Alzheimer’s awareness walks to city cleanups and other events.  Many service programs at Cinco provided a solid foundation for Yaser to garner appreciation for community service.

“I can thank the C.A.T.S.[Cougars Achieving Through Service] and N.H.S. [National Honor Society] programs at Cinco Ranch for helping to teach me the importance of community service,” said Yaser. “Many do not realize how blessed we really are to go to the best high school in the nation until leaving Cinco Ranch. My time and experiences with the wonderful people there has helped shape me into the young man I am today.”

Heeding his brother’s advice, Eyad Elqutub, senior and a varsity football captain, finds Cinco to be a valuable resource in providing a solid education.

“Yaser always tells me how much Cinco prepared him for college and that the courses at Cinco made college so much easier,” said Eyad. “I hope to take the same lessons he was given at Cinco and apply what they have taught me to my life, now and later on.”

Yaser believes that the self-satisfaction and personal rewards of community service are important factors in helping others.

“There is no greater feeling than giving up your time in an unselfish manner to help others. It is honestly more rewarding for the person who gives than receives!” Yaser said.

As an elder sibling, Yaser constantly reminds Eyad to pursue hard work to achieve any goal.

“You can never underestimate the power of hard work and patience! I know that first handed because I was never given anything, instead I had to earn all of my recognition,” Yaser said.

Eyad looks up to his elder brother in hopes of continuing to play football and upholding a family reputation.

“I plan to continue playing football in college and play for a Division 1 school hopefully,” said Eyad. “I definitely look up to Yaser because he is my role model and in the back of my head I know I have to maintain the reputation of being an Elqutub.”

Playing football for over a decade, Yaser finds that football teaches its players valuable life lessons in perseverance and dedication.

“Most people do not understand what it is like to play football and go through everything that comes with it, especially in Texas and even more so at Cinco. It’s more than just a game, it teaches you about life. When life knocks you down, you have to get right back up and keep pushing. That is exactly what football teaches you,” said Yaser. “We have to play through pain and all other kind of problems like homework, family, or a big exam the next day. But you learn not to let the hurdles stand in your way of reaching your goals.”

Eyad, similarly, believes that playing football has taught him to work hard and to keep striving no matter what the odds maybe.

“In any environment, we have to be ready to get on that football field and do what it takes to win,” said Eyad. “Like my brother has told me, the lessons learned from football go far. Literally.”

Overcoming obstacles and negative opinions was a major factor in creating the kind of individual Yaser is today. Yaser was the individual football player sitting in the stands, watching every play and move as a tool to overcome and improve. Today, Yaser can look back at these difficult times and offer them as a story of accomplishment to his brother, Eyad, and other student-athletes.

The football journey was tough, and the challenges never seemed to go away. I remember my former position coach telling me that I would never play college football because did not think I was talented enough,” said Yaser “But I took his words not as a definition of my talents, but as a challenge to improve. I knew that I was going to succeed in both academics and football! And I did a pretty good job!”