Former high school star shoots for KC squad

Photo by Maria Zapata / The Flare.  Emanuel Black hopes to walk on as a KC football player this fall.
Photo by Maria Zapata / The Flare.
Emanuel Black hopes to walk on as a KC football player this fall.

When Emanuel Black was growing up in Houston, all he wanted to do was play football. But what he terms “personal issues” forced him off the field. Now Black, Crosby freshman, has a chance to make a comeback and join the KC Rangers.

Black is currently in his second semester at KC. The KC community, along with friends and family, know him as Manny, for short.

He loved playing football at a young age, but somewhere along his childhood journey he was forced to stop playing the game. His parents wanted him to get his life straight off the field before he could play again.

“I got into some trouble that I didn’t want to re-live again so I had to stop playing the game of football for a while to get my life back on track,” Black said.

While he was absent from football, he took up track and participated in band during junior high.

He played numerous instruments such as the drums, flute and many others. To this day he still plays these instruments for fun.

The sole purpose of engaging in track was to keep his body in shape so when the time came to return to football, he would be ready to jump back in full stride.

Black returned to the field his freshman year of high school and felt as though he was in another world. He was ecstatic to be back.

“I was just glad to be back out there on the field; it was great putting those pads on again,” Black said.

Black was a defensive tackle for the Crosby Cougars and though he was not the biggest player on the field, he gave it all he had. He used his smarts to outwit the offensive lineman.

“There were players that were bigger than me on the field, but I relied on my quickness and speed off the ball to outwork them each and every play,” Black said.

Black weighs a solid 285 pounds, stands at 6-feet tall and runs a five-second, 40-yard dash.

In high school, his coaches and the Associated Press frequently named him Player of the Week. He says he did not care about recognition; he just wanted to give 110 percent every game.

As his life was getting back on track, misfortune struck again.

On August 29, 2009 his mother, who had essentially raised Black by herself, died of a massive and unexpected heart attack.

Black, obviously devastated, did not know how to react. His mother was gone.

“I was very depressed for a long time, and I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Black said. “I wanted to drop out of school, but I decided not to because I knew that my mother would want me to stay in school.”

As Black continued life without his mother through his high school years, he encountered yet another setback.

In November 2012, his junior year, he was involved in a car wreck with his brother and a  friend. The car rammed the back of another vehicle head on with full force. Luckily, nobody was killed, just injured.

Black broke his wrist during the accident, which hindered his football career from there.

“It was nobody but God that got us through that,” Black said. ‘We could have easily died, but God managed to get all of us out of there safely. Even though I messed up my wrist, I’m still grateful because it could have been a lot worse.”

Once Black was back on the field, because of his injured wrist his playing time was limited.

The coaches and his parent guardians were very cautious about it, because he could not perform the way he once did before the injury.

He had a verbal commitment to the University of Houston, but he was not able to go because the coaches thought he was damaged goods.

He enrolled at KC to try and resurrect his football career. He played defensive lineman in high school, and he hopes to play that position again for KC; if not he’ll just do what the coaches say.  He is waiting for the fall tryout dates and will be there to give it his best.

“The coaches told me I would be a good addition to the team; they might switch my position around, but at this point I am up for anything,” Black said. “I just want to be back out there on the field with the big lights and the big crowds. That is what I live for.”

Black’s close friend, Joshua Young, knows how good a person he is.

“He is a real nice guy. He is always there for me, and he is always up to giving people advice and helping people out with their problems. He’s very outspoken and a huge hit with the ladies. He’s just an all-around great guy,” Young said.

Black’s major is nursing, and he is working toward a bachelor’s degree in the nursing field. Then he will try to switch to anesthesiology.

He loves to help people, and he is the fascinated with the human body.

Black’s objective is to be involved in people’s lives and help them achieve their goals, while succeeding in his life and making his mother proud.

He hopes to be back on the football field in KC’s blue- and- white colors in the fall.