Chin students step out of comfort zone


Sui Par

Bawi Lian and his teammates return to the sideline for a break on Sept. 29. Lian says the reason why he joined football was because of his former teacher in Atlanta, GA.

While soccer is widely popular in the Chin community, four SHS students step away from the normal.

According to, 85 percent of the Varisty boys soccer team are Chins. But this school year, some students wanted to try something new and different. They joined the school’s football team in order to break the stereotype.

Two of these students are on the freshmen team while the other two, sophomore Tluang Thang and junior Bawi Lian, are on JV.

Scott Evans, one of the football coaches wants to see more of this to happen for Chins. He wants to see them participate in all kinds of sport rather than just soccer.

“Anytime you get a chance to do something new, you might as well take an advantage of it,” Evans said.

Football wasn’t always Lian’s passion. His teacher whom he highly respected back in Georgia, got him interested in football. This was during his sophomore year. The teacher happened to be the football coach at his former school, and he suggested that he try out and see what it’s like for himself and that’s what he did when he moved here.

“I’m the type of person who likes to try something uncommon,” Lian said. “I don’t want to do something that’s been repeated over generations through generations.”

According to Lian, he likes everything about football and says that there’s nothing to dislike about it. Since he’s no longer an English Language Learner (ELL) student, there’s no communication barrier. However, for Thang it’s difficult since he’s a level one. Like other students, he was scared to try out at first. According to Thang, Lian went up to him and asked about the information regarding football and he assisted. This lead to the start of a new friendship.

“We never knew each other but because of our interest in the same sport, we became football buddies,” Thang said.

For Thang, football is different from what television led him to believe it was. He says when he watches it on TV, it seems really easy and fun, but from his own experience, it’s a lot harder. This year was his first time ever putting on a helmet and he found it to be a lot heavier and harder to work with than he expected. It was hard to get use to for him the first couple of days but he soon got the hang of it.

The environment during the first few days of practice was bad, according to Lian. The other athletes have never seen Chin guys playing football so they were taken back but that didn’t discourage them. They kept going to practice with a determined mind even though they don’t get to play sometimes.

Thang hasn’t played in any of the games but Lian has played a couple of times before as kicker and running back. He believes it’s because the coaches haven’t seen his full potentials yet. Since they’re still new to the sport, both students hope to improve everyday and catch the coach’s eyes.