Two kids from Two different places


Roy Kippins and Alanzo Barrett

Two kids from two different places. Way different than the environment they’re in now.  Their stories on how they got to the point they’re at now are very different. But they both connect when it comes to the team they’re on now. They both play for Shaker’s Varsity Football team. Hopefully contributing to another Section 2 Championship. We, Roy Kippins and Alanzo Barrett are here to tell our story.

Roy was born and raised in Albany, New York. He was raised there and this is where he called home. He had a lot of friends and they all spent a lot of time going to the basketball courts. He loved it there and never thought of leaving. When he was in 8th grade, his parents started talking about buying a new house. Before moving, he was nervous like anyone would be during this time but also excited. What Roy didn’t know was the decision his parents made would change his life for the better. 

Alanzo on the other hand came from Lansingburgh. In a whole other direction from Albany. He was raised by his father. His father worked a lot, so Alanzo had to look after his little brother Ricky. Alanzo, unlike me, had friends outside of his hometown. His best friends are a former Shaker student Nolan Dils and Julian Thompsan. He met them while playing travel baseball. Speaking of baseball, baseball is Alanzo’s passion and main sport. Him moving to Shaker gave him a lot of attention playing football, a sport he debated quitting for awhile.

Roy moved here freshman year. It wasn’t hard for him to start making friends but after a while it was hard for him to keep his new friends. Roy felt distant because it was hard for him to communicate with these kids he called friends. On the other hand Alanzo came here junior year and was shy at first. He wasn’t as open, he actually didn’t want to move here. He loved Lansingburgh and the sudden change didn’t sit well with him at first. He didn’t feel he belonged. 

Alanzo and I both felt that it was hard to communicate with kids from this area. We felt that they didn’t understand us. The communities and people where we came from were different. The students at Shaker worry less about things like money and college. A lot of the kids we know had to stop focusing on school and sports and start helping around the house with the bills. Coming from low-income neighborhoods, kids don’t believe they can succeed and can have a better future. Statistically a lot of them end up dropping out. So, as you can imagine, we grew up with different mindsets. So we had different conversations. That’s why we felt it was hard for us to connect with kids from Shaker.

Football played a key role in our transition to Shaker. Roy was a dominant Junior Varsity player on defense playing safety.  He hoped he would be moved up to Varsity for sectionals. But with a huge upset in the first round he didn’t get the chance. Coming into his junior year he had a chip on his shoulder with high expectations for himself at the safety position. With two stud safeties seniors, Roy wasn’t getting playing time. Against Saratoga week 4 a Senior Captain and starting tight end Will Pepe had a season-ending injury with no one to replace him. Coach Sheeler looked for someone to replace the load. Coach Sheeler believed Roy would fulfill this role. Ever since Roy has been the starting Tight End he’s been a part of one Section 2 championship and the ongoing 2019 season. Roy has become a more vocal leader this year and also has played a bigger role in this year’s offense. We’ll see how far Roy and the team can go. Roy was hurt twice this year, spraining both ankles, straining a tendon in his leg and also had a bone bruise to his tibia. Hopefully, no more injuries will keep Roy from performing at his best.

Alanzo missed the 2018 Football season because he was still at Lansingburgh; but this year he’s off to a great start. He has gotten one interception, 2 Green Shirt awards (biggest hit of the game), and defensive player of the game. Even though he’s not vocal, he makes an impact on the field with his play. He’s shown that you don’t have to talk to be a leader. People see what he does on the field and his desire to get the job done. Zo has also contributed on special teams. He returned a 55-yard punt. Every since Zo has been at Shaker and got a starting role; he’s been a huge impact to the team. He hopes to win a Section 2 championship and make it to the dome. He shares the same desires as the rest of his teammates.

Our journeys have lead us here today. As close friends and on the Shaker Football team. As important roles in our respective positions. We look forward to the journey ahead of us. In a search to win another Section 2 Championship and hopefully make it to the dome in Syracuse, New York. We have dominated so far into our season and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.