April 20, 2024

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The Sports Fanatics

When Football and Family members Intersect

Life’s unpredictability can at times be its biggest reward.

In 2020 Chandler Hovik’s everyday living altered, for the far better, in a way no a person, himself incorporated, could have at any time imagined.

Small did the Central Substantial College head varsity mentor know what started out as a rather program stroll outside during faculty hours, would transform into a existence-altering introduction to a younger guy, named Ismail “Izzy” Foz.

“Izzy was in a single of my co-employees PE classes,” Hovik recalled to the “Zone Examine.” “He was on the area kicking a soccer ball and I have under no circumstances viewed a kid kick a ball so tough. I named him over, launched myself, and requested him if he ever played soccer, and if he wished to check out to occur kick for us.”

By way of his then broken English, Foz agreed to give it a attempt.

“The pursuing week he came to an off-year practice and we understood he was likely to be exclusive,” Hovik recalled. “His attitude and energy is a little something that absolutely everyone feeds off of.”

Izzy’s positivity has generally been a beacon of hope for a teenager with the odds stacked from him. A tale much more sophisticated than basically a prep athlete hoping to hone his skills at a new sport.

He is a 16-yr-previous refugee from Burundi, Africa. His father still resides in Africa, his mom in London. He was raised by his grandmother and arrived to the United States searching for a improved existence, and foreseeable future, for himself, and his 5 siblings (a person older sister, one young sister, three youthful brothers).

“In Africa, it was so bad,” Foz said to the “Zone Browse.” “Life was so difficult. My grandma was carrying out her most effective to make me delighted and be happy. She taught me respect and not to lie…be respectful. My grandmother is my every little thing. Now, my lifetime is superior. I’m smiling and delighted. I want to make her happy.”

Foz, a 4. scholar-athlete, speaks 6 languages: English, Spanish, French, Swahili, Kirundi, and Kinyawanda.

Unique on the discipline and off, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder, who sporting activities a white patch that goes by way of the front of his hairline, led the Bobcats in goals, participating in varsity soccer as a sophomore shortly right after arriving on campus.

If adapting to a new region, university, life style, friends, and just all round lifestyle alter wasn’t spectacular sufficient, Foz, now a junior, picked up football as swiftly as he’s picked up admirers in, and close to, the CHS local community. 

“He went from not even realizing what soccer was to turning into our setting up varsity cornerback and very first-crew, all-district kicker as a sophomore,” Hovik stated. 

Foz converted 21 of 28 PAT’s and designed 1 of two field objectives for the 5-4 Bobcats past drop. He also registered 13 tackles and two pass deflections on defense.

“All my coaches designed me perform really hard,” he explained reflecting again to his to start with time in the sport. “I tried my ideal to be great. I wasn’t excellent at catching the ball but I attempted my best simply because, on protection, you have to capture the ball if you want a select (interception). My occupation is to engage in defensive again and kicker. The head mentor, Mentor Hovik, makes me work so challenging simply because I dwell with him.”



Hovik, and his spouse Crishana, in the end resolved their secure household setting would be the most effective to Izzy. 

“His team house wasn’t the finest predicament,” Hovik discussed. “My spouse and I are essentially his authorized guardians now. Izzy is a enormous blessing in our lives. He’s influenced us to be far better individuals, happier people today. He will make us chuckle a lot more than we’ve ever laughed. We’ve grown nearer by expending far more time as a relatives, and he constantly needs to commit time with us. He’s so grateful for every thing he has and that suggests the absolute environment to us. We really do not know what we would do with out him in our life.”

Izzy, who now also runs keep track of at Central, has taken a liking to American lifestyle. When he’s not having classic teenage boy fare – like hen wings, and pizza – he’s playing FIFA Soccer on Xbox with Hovik, ramping up his shoe sport, or most likely demonstrating off his dance competencies with Crishana on Tik Tok.

In the United States he has uncovered, and absolutely knowledgeable, the best blend of humility, contentment, and, most importantly, a property – thanks to the Hovik’s selflessness.

“I really don’t know how to thank them,” Foz mirrored, putting his hand over his coronary heart. “God blessed them for everything they did for me. They took a chance and it adjusted my lifestyle. My mom, my dad, my grandma…everybody is so proud that they assisted me out.”