Former Ohio State football player Joel Penton encouraged young people at Indian Lake Schools to become successful by keeping their commitments.
Penton spoke to grades 8-12 March 20 as part of his “Stand Your Ground” tour of northwest Ohio. He and the band The Stray returned to the school for a free performance hat night.
“If you want to step out and be different in a positive way, you can get a lot of negative pushback from your peers and it’s tough,” Penton said. “I tell the story of when I was going through high school and it was 15 years ago. But the kids are going through the same things now. Social media is different, technology is different, but it’s the same issues at heart.”
Growing up in Van Wert, Penton says he was not athletic as a youngster, but he committed to becoming the best football player he could be. However, he lost his group of friends in high school because he continued to be committed to his dream instead of experimenting with drugs and alcohol.
He told the students, “If you make the right commitments and keep them, sometimes you must stand your ground all alone.”
Penton became an Ohio State football defensive end, helping his team win 3 Big Ten championships and a national championship. He was also a 4-time All Academic Big Ten Selection.
Instead of heading to the NFL, Penton moved to motivational speaking and now tours the country with Columbus-based band The Stray.
The band performed a song for students at the end of the assembly and invited the public for a free concert in the ILHS Auditorium Tuesday evening. All in attendance at the concert received a copy of Penton’s new book “Seven Lies Almost Every Teen Believes.”
During the assembly Penton also handed out t-shirt and copies of his first book, “Stand Your Ground.”
The event was sponsored by the Indian Lake High School SADD Chapter and the Indian Lake High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Learn more at www.joelpenton.com.
Submitted by the Indian Lake school district.