ABC7 Sports Athlete of the Week: Liam Kelly balances homeschooling & football

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 1:40 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Football is a game that is about building camaraderie and this leads people to believe that players do everything with each other.

This ranges from hanging out with each other and going to classes together, but when it comes to Liam Kelly this is not the case.

He’s a senior football player for The Classical Academy of Sarasota Patriots, but he isn’t an actual student at the school. Kelly is one of three players on his team who is home-schooled, which brings an extra workload in addition to athletics.

“So I’m up at 5:40 every morning,” Kelly said. “I got to drive here. Everybody else gets showers, goes to school. I go home. I do my school there. Usually start around 10. Depending on classes, I take some at SCF. So sometimes I’m there in person and sometimes I’m doing online courses. We come back later. We have practice after school. So I come back again after school.”

The battle doesn’t only impact Liam. ABC7 had a chance to speak with his father, and he goes on to share advice with parents whose children decide to take on all these challenges.

“Get involved with, whether it be your local school district,” David Kelly, Liam’s father said. “Get involved, whether it’s your local private school. Homeschoolers often make the decision because of the environment they want for their kids, and some of these schools are so open to that same environment. So it’s been fantastic.”

Liam also shared some advice for future student athletes who will be in his position one day.

“When everything’s on you when you’re a homeschooler, you and your family you got to make sure you’re on schedule,” Liam said. “The main thing is to make sure you don’t get behind on your work. Make sure you’re doing what you need to everyday. And use all of the time that you have from that to improve yourself.”

Another unique thing about Liam is that this is only his second year playing tackle football, just like the program that he is a member of. His head coach, Matt Favero, describes Liam as a true leader on the team.

“He originally was a soccer player for us, Favero said. “Then we converted him over to play football during our first year of flag here at TCA. And since then, he’s grown to be one of our captains this year. He’s a quiet leader but he does it all by example.”

Liam had the opportunity to participate in the Kornblue Kicking Summer Showcase a few weeks ago, and he placed third in the competition. Hit top kickoffs were 75, 73 and 68 yards, while going eight for ten on field goal attempts.

He tells ABC7 that he has a few colleges looking his way, but he plans to add to the list with his upcoming performances during his senior season.