TJ Senior Learns to Lead


Devin Bora

September 18, 2021

Sam Canizales, Writer

Senior Brandon Hylton has been playing football all 4 years that he has attended TJ high school. Hylton has played as a quarterback and this year was offered a play on the football team for The Catholic University of America. Hylton first received this offer in July of 2021. 

Hylton values the TJ football program and what it has done for him, believing that it has laid the foundation for him to become the person he is today. He cites the connections that he has been able to build in the football community as being formative to his progression as a football player and as a person. “The relationships I’ve built with coaches, players, and people in the community are more valuable than anything that would appear in a stat sheet.” 

The Catholic University of America is located in Washington D.C.. Hylton is ready to take advantage of the opportunities that being in the area provides. When asked what excited him about attending the Catholic University of America, he said: “I have a lot of plans after football is over, and the opportunity for internships, connections, and job opportunities in D.C. is really exciting to me.”

The TJ High School football program has been under strain in the past few years. Prior to Covid, TJ did not have enough players to form a varsity team. The team was strained for a number of reasons, the first being that students had transferred to other high schools in the hope that they would be able to play on a team that would have more talent scouts watching their games. Another factor was that many of the students were not meeting the grade point eligibility standard. This loss for the school and the football community was eye-opening for Hylton.

“I think I realized I had to step up when we lost our varsity team my sophomore year. It brought a lot of negative attention for the community and the media onto our team and we are still feeling the effects to this day. That’s when I realized that if anyone was going to have to step up and turn the program around it was going to have to be me.”

With the increased pressure that the football community at TJ has been under, and to a degree still is under, Brandon Hylton has learned to speak up and lead the team. 

“It was a difficult process, and it took me a long time to learn how to lead effectively, but once I felt I had won the guys over in the locker room I knew they would have my back through anything and everything.”

TJ is proud to have students like Hylton, who enact the change they want to see in their sports. It is a representation of what TJ is striving for, and what it has been. That is, a place for students to be an active member in changing our community.