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From host family to soccer field, Coronado’s Revels excels

Revels (# 44) watches intently from the sidelines as his team play Valley Christian (Photo courtesy of Kim Sorenson)

It’s the fourth quarter in a resounding loss to Arizona College Prep and Coronado junior linebacker Jason Revels leans in from exhaustion, requiring medical attention.

“Before the game, the coach said that no one should play for themselves as an individual, but that they should play for the team,” Revels said. “That’s exactly what I did – I was in the offensive, defensive and kickoff teams so I fell apart.”

He’s the kind of young man Revels has become in his life. He thinks more of others than of himself.

“He has all the qualities one would expect from a football player,” said Dons coach Jerry Black. “His leadership has been invaluable on both sides of the ball. I’m happy to have him on this team.

In many ways, Revels is a typical teenager. He can’t wait to get his driver’s license, he loves video games like “Call of Duty” and he argues with his sister.

“We’re more likely to fight over who does their laundry first,” said Sky Sorenson, Revels’ sister. “Or… we argue in the shower.” We only have one bathroom in the house.

At 17 seemingly normal, Revels’ family life is not exactly traditional. Before his birth, his biological father died in a car accident. Her birth mother was struggling with drug addiction. As one of six children, he lived with his grandmother and her husband, until she passed away.

At the age of 11, Revels turned to football to help ease the pain of his grandmother’s death. A natural athlete, Revel excelled at football. Football became a vehicle through which Revels channeled his determination to succeed.

“At first, football was just something to do. Something to get me out of the house and make friends, ”Revels said with a smile. “Eventually, school and football helped me forget everything that was going on in my life.”

The years following his grandmother’s death turned tumultuous for Revels. He bounced from one toxic environment to another. He eventually found his place in the foster care system, living in a group home in Arizona.

All the while, never knowing that his aunt, Kim Sorenson, was looking for him. She couldn’t let Revel become another statistic. The outlook for adolescents left in the foster care system can be bleak.

“I learned from a third party that he had been placed in a group home. I was on the phone with DCS, the police department, and the hospitality licensing agency trying to find out where he was, ”Kim said. “So when we finally got it and I finally got to talk to him, it broke my heart. I knew then that I was ready to do whatever it took to bring Jason home. with us.

According to Kim, who along with her husband has now adopted Revels, he went through three to five years in the kind of situation that no child should have to go through. Revels lived in constant fear of criticism. He hasn’t had any praise or positive reinforcement in his life.

“I think being a family I tried to show him that he can count on us for life,” Kim said. “He hasn’t had that kind of support for so long. Now he gets it outside of the house, his coach and his football team as well. “

Revels, second from right, enjoys Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale at the Princess with his new family. (Photo courtesy of Kim Sorenson)It has often been said that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Adopting Revels meant compromises for the whole family. The Sorensons live in a small house. In addition, they always adapt to the life of an active teenager.

“He’s a wonderful child. I love having it in my house and under my roof, ”said Billy Sorenson. “Sometimes, like any parent, I don’t like to wait all night to pick him up after practice or games… but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. “

The best is yet to come for Revels, thanks to his new parents. He’s even considering college. A brilliant student, Revels’ favorite subjects are the ones most athletes avoid.

He enjoys chemistry, criminology and forensics. Revels attributes its success to a healthier environment.

“They [Kim & Billy Sorenson] Got me back on my feet and made me more confident in life, ”Revels said.

Revels describes himself as loyal. This loyalty is most evident on the football field. A true blue teammate, Revels averaged five tackles per game last season.

“I’ll always be there for people no matter what,” Revels said. “Although sometimes people weren’t there for me.”

In a season where wins are scarce, Revels has been named Coronado Defensive Player of the Game twice. It proves that in football as in life, every inch of progress brings you closer to the goal.

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