Share Your Story Series - Mini: Keep the faith
"When an underdog wins, they win for everybody, because somebody gotta come through that door and break it open and make it possible." - Saint Jhn
My name is Wilde germano and this is my story.
NCAA DII Football Player - CSU Pueblo
My name is Wilde Germano and I am from Hilo, Hawaii. I graduated in 2020 from Kamehameha Hawaii during the lockdown. I was originally going to walk on at the University of Hawaii for football but I was informed that they did not have space for me. One year later, I was given a chance to walk on at CSU-Pueblo where I earned a scholarship and started as a freshman and sophomore. Entering my junior year, I am hoping to grow not only as a football player, but as an adult and as a leader for my team, and my community, whether be through football clinics or speaking to local youth teams.
1. You mentioned your experience with Covid and not being able to walk on at UH. What was that like? How did you feel?
At first it was heartbreaking, I had put all my eggs in one basket, thinking UH Mānoa was where I was going to play college football. I felt like I had wasted all my parents money and time because I didn’t know if I would ever play football again. I realized that I was faced with two choices, I could fold and hang up the cleats or stay in shape and be ready for the next opportunity. God blessed me with one more chance and I promised myself and my family that I was going to give everything I got.
2. What was it like being a walk on at CSU rather than a scholarship athlete? How did that affect you mentally? Did you ever feel like you were at a disadvantage? What motivated you? What was your “why?”
Being a walk at CSU-Pueblo was definitely not a walk in the park. No one knew who I was or what I had to offer. It made me hungry, I came in with a chip on my shoulder. Being from Hawai’i, we already feel like we have something to prove so the term “walk-on” just added more fuel to the fire. There were definitely times where I was not getting as many chances, but it just made me value the ones I was getting and caused me to give everything I had in that one rep.
My motivation was definitely trying to prove those who believed in me right. We get caught up in trying to prove people wrong, but if you focus too much on that, you’ll never run out of people to prove wrong. People are always going to have something to say, it’s all about the people that show you love and support.
3. How did it feel to earn a scholarship?
Earning that scholarship made me feel like I was on top of the world. My whole life, coaches thought I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t fast enough, wasn’t tall enough. These coaches believed in me and gave me a chance. I had to remember that this was just the beginning. Now I need to give them a return on their investment and get my degree.
4. What advice would you give to your younger self? What advice would you give to someone in a similar situation?
Advice I would give to my younger self is to believe in the dark. There is always gonna be times where it feels like everything you did was for nothing. But if you keep the faith in God and continue grinding, staying on the right path, everything will play out the way it is supposed to. You control your future, not those around you.