Football player Michael Wu makes his mark

Michael+Wu+catches+the+football+and+turns+to+run+down+the+field.

Graphic illustration by Lina Mezerreg; Photo by Emma Cionca

Michael Wu catches the football and turns to run down the field.

Samiya Anwar

In a span of three years, senior Michael Wu has made a significant mark on Lynbrook’s varsity football team not only as a talented running back, cornerback and linebacker but also as a leader and friend to his fellow teammates.

Wu ended the season ranked fifth in rushing yards and 10th in touchdowns in the Central Coast Section. At one point becoming the CCS rushing yards leader in September 2021, he rushed for a total of 1,069 yards in the 2021-22 season. He averaged 10.5 yards per carry, and his longest rush was recorded at 96 yards when Lynbrook played against Evergreen Valley on Sept. 11. He tallied 14 total touchdowns, 12 of which were scored by rushing. In just one season, he accounted for 90 of Lynbrook’s total points as a versatile two-way player.

Wu’s football career started his sophomore year when he transferred to Lynbrook from Summit Denali and looked to football as a way to make friends and create connections on campus. Football wasn’t always his main sport, as Wu had previously played many other sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer and baseball. To Wu, switching from basketball to football was a challenge, especially because he had played club basketball for most of his life. However, Wu frequently watched NFL games growing up, and he credits these experiences for helping him transition into football.

Wu’s athleticism has always been one of his strengths, and his favorite aspects of football are running and tackling. Playing a numerous amount of sports since elementary school meant that Wu was always in shape. However, what sets him apart is his leadership. As the captain of the football team, Wu recognizes the importance of setting a good example for the rest of the players. He made sure to never come to practive with a bad attitude, because he knows that it negatively affected his teammates.

“I’m most proud of his growth as a leader,” varsity football head coach RJ Davis said. “He’s grown into someone that everyone relies on, and I don’t think he has any weaknesses as a leader.”

Playing football has not only helped Wu become a better athlete, but also shaped his character tremendously.

“He has a drive to win,” Davis said. “He has the ability to lead. And most importantly, he understands the commitment of what we require of our players.”

Joining the team was a big commitment for Wu. Often following a tiring day at school, attending two hour practices every day created a demanding schedule for him. Wu learned the importance of dedication and not forming excuses in order to avoid work. This type of time commitment has helped him develop a stronger work ethic.

Along with leadership and diligence came an opportunity for Wu to form life-long friendships. He is grateful that he and his teammates were able to play together and collectively improve throughout high school.

“The program brought me a group of friends that I call my family now,” Wu said.

Spirits were high for Wu’s senior season after COVID-19 restrictions eased. More students   attended    Lynbrook’s   home   games, which created an energetic and positive atmosphere for the players. Improvement was immediate: the team closed the season with a 4-5 record, a significant difference to the 2018-19 season, when their record was 0-10.

“In previous seasons, we would talk about our goals and where we wanted to be,” Wu said. “It’s cool to finally see our dreams come true.”

Although he doesn’t plan on continuing to play football in college, Wu is grateful for a meaningful high school football experience. He encourages young players and anyone who is interested in trying a new sport to take risks and work hard, saying that the results will come with it.