FORT MYERS, Fla. — A former football coach is using social media to highlight local athletes' life on and off the field. But COVID-19 is adding extra pressure on some of the rising stars.
“We want to provide coverage and insight stories on the youth here,” said Andrew Layton the founder of Big Dreams Sports TV
Layton created the media company to give athletes something to look forward to.
“It was something missing from the news part and it was the sports highlights,” he said “When I was here on Friday nights it was a big deal that you come home and you watch Friday night frenzy’s and you try to see if you made the top plays.”
The company showcases talented student athletes who are overcoming their own struggles like Barry White whose been playing football since the age of five.
“It means a lot to me, after I picked up the football I never looked back. And until this day, it means a lot to me. Like football is life,” he said.
White is a rising senior running back at Dunbar high school. He tells me that he just wants to be a role model for his seven younger siblings. Especially his youngest brother.
“I walked in one day and he was like calling my name and he was like that’s Barry on tv. He was sitting on the couch with my jersey on and that gave me a lot of joy in my heart,” he said. “And his dad is not really in his life like that. In and out of prison and I’m his bigger brother so I want him to look up to me.”
He tells me his mom is a single parent so growing up was rough financially. But he hopes that playing football will help them find more stability. White will start senior year next week and he’s looking forward to getting scholarships to play in college.
There is only one thing that could hold him back. And its COVID- 19. So, he made the decision to get vaccinated, to stay on the field. Barry’s mom tells us this is his year to shine by any means necessary
“Like I said its Barry’s senior year and he doesn’t have any offers right now. If something happened with covid and they had to shut down that would be kind of tough to try to get him scholarships,” she said.
Layton is his former coach and says Barry is one of many kids affected by coronavirus, and many of them are just hoping for the best.
“That not just with football that’s with every sport, that’s with work. Right now, we don’t know if they are going to shut the country back down,” he said. “What’s happening, these kids have no direction and here we are trying to tell them to go to school and do the right thing and not talking to them. We aren’t asking them what they’re going through.”