Sometimes in life we just have to play the cards we're dealt. Bossier sophomore Xavier Venious wasn't necessarily dealt a great hand but he's not far from turning that hand into a winner.
Dorthy Ray, Xavier’s Venious said, "His father was shot. His father was a senior in high school and his father played football, he played basketball, he ran track and he got killed his senior year of high school."
16-year-old Xavier Venious was just 1-year-old when his father was shot and killed. He's the 2nd oldest out of 4 children and the only boy
Xavier said, "It was kind of difficult growing up without a father but I kind of found my way. I went to church and got into the church when I got a little bit older and I started improving."
Xavier juggled trying to be both brother and father to his 3 sisters. He also found time to excel in sports. He's one of rising stars at the cornerback position in the region.
But, this star shines even brighter on the track. He's the district champion in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles. And, in the classroom, he maintains a 4.0 gpa.
Bossier head football coach Mike Concilio said, "He's very respectful. He looks you in your eye when he shakes your hand. All those things that some kids may not get at home but he displays that to our coaches and teachers."
However, it took time for Xavier to overcome certain struggles he had growing up. Not having his father weighed heavily on his heart but then something caused a change.
Dorthy said, "At one time, Xavier had a negative attitude about a lot of stuff and the more he went to church, the more I seen him starting to change and he'll be like God is going to do it, God is going to work it out."
Xavier added, "I started studying the bible and listening to this man talk on the radio about you having to be saved and things like that make it into heaven."
"He loves going to church. He loves going to church. Sometimes he'll send me a message and he'll be like mama you need to read this scripture or something like that so he loves going to church," said Dorthy.
Xavier is now an usher at his church and helps mentor other young boys and tries to bring them closer to God, all the while still being an even bigger role model for his sisters.
"I really hope that they feed of me and they go and get their education good and go to college."
His mother said, "I see a superstar because that's what I tell him, he's my superstar and I like the fact that before he plays any football game or before he runs any track, he prays, he prays. This what I always tell him, to pray and he prays."
As he accepted his Landers Athlete of the Week trophy, Xavier said, "I want to say thank you to my sisters and my mom and all the coaches who have been instrumental in my life and most importantly I want to thank God."
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