Oct 2, 2013
04:27 AM
The Connecticut Story

11-year-old New Haven Quarterback a Star On and Off the Field

11-year-old New Haven Quarterback a Star On and Off the Field

Arnold Gold

Quarterback Sahim Hasan, right, 11, of the New Haven Steelers hands off to Hessan Lewis, 11, during a recent practice at Bowen Field in New Haven.

It was rare for Lynwood Branham to place the significant responsibility on a 9-year-old to lead his team’s offense as starting quarterback.

But Branham, 48, head coach of the Junior Pee Wee New Haven Steelers football team, said he had no choice, because Sahim Hasan, now 11, proved he had the intellect and maturity to shoulder that type of leadership responsibility.

“Last year was Sahim’s first year with us on Junior Pee Wee and in all my years of coaching, this was the first time I’d let a 9-year-old become starting quarterback,” said Branham, who has been coaching for more than 15 years.

“Sahim was ready then and remains our quarterback today. He is extremely hard-working and, as a coach, I have confidence with his decision-making and choices on the field.” Branham said.

Branham credits Sahim’s parents for the way they’re developing and guiding him to understand he has a responsibility to himself and his endeavors, but at the same time letting him be a kid.

Sahim, a sixth-grader at Highville Charter School in Hamden whose favorite subject is math, has been playing for the football organization since 2009.

“I have confidence in myself, because I know I can do it; that’s why I think the coaches have so much confidence in me,” said Sahim.

“Quitters don’t learn anything, and as quarterback it’s my job to make sure the team doesn’t quit,” he said. “I push myself to be better and better, and I hope one day I’ll earn a college scholarship so my parents won’t have to pay for school; they’re already doing a lot for me,”

Sahim said he could not be a successful quarterback without the help of his teammates. “What makes us special is that we trust one another on the field and we work hard together; that’s the reason we’re successful as a team.” he said.

For the rest of the article, visit New Haven Register online.


11-year-old New Haven Quarterback a Star On and Off the Field

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