Coming to a Full Circle, Gregory Howell Connects Through Football Passion

Having achieved a legacy of his own, the former ’14 Cavalier enters into a quest to create football success
Training every football practice, Buddy gives the Gables team a pep talk on tactics and maneuvering.
Training every football practice, Buddy gives the Gables team a pep talk on tactics and maneuvering.
Courtesy of Buddy

Bringing in a fresh new air to the junior and varsity football teams, Gregory ‘Buddy’ Howell returns to Coral Gables Senior High, the place that stamped his legacy in football. From being a former running-back player for the Rams and Super Bowl LVI Champion, Buddy comes back to his hometown with more than just his former achievements; he comes with a vision. Serving as an example of sporting success, Buddy reenters into the same field he left nine years ago in an attempt to motivate the next generation of football players.

Playing alongside his cousins in 2013, Buddy entered his senior year on the varsity team in Gables. Feeling deep connections to sportsmanship within the varsity team, Buddy made sure to keep his home close to heart after leaving for Florida Atlantic University. Despite the challenges of returning to his alma mater when Buddy began playing in the National Football League, in his spare time, Buddy made the effort to come back to South Florida and help students.

Seeing the team develop on the field, Buddy smiles at their collective efforts while playing the ball. (Courtesy of Buddy)

“But honestly, it’s a blessing to be here because it’s fun. I enjoy it. It’s like a safe haven for me. It’s a place where I feel good, and when I come here it’s therapy for me. I thank them [Gables’ coaches] you know for welcoming me back and helping these kids achieve greatness,” Buddy said.

Making his way through last summer’s football practice, Buddy brought his playing field experience from the NFL. Getting a quick insight by looking at pass throws and tracking movements, Buddy can adjust and work with the players in a one-on-one scenario. Expanding on the training by running drills, Buddy steps up to their athletic prowess and helps the team create multiple tactics through their newfound development for upcoming football games.

“It’s a different vibe being out there by yourself, but having friends depending on you, wanting you to win and to be better pushing helps everyone win. That’s what I have been preaching since day one,” Buddy said.

With the team eagerly awaiting Buddy to come to all the football practices, the feeling and sense of longing is what Buddy is trying to bring back. In a sense of community and tight-knit relationships with fellow players, Buddy believes that building their relationships and putting trust in each other will help the Cavaliers team reach new heights.

” I try talking to them as a big brother, a player’s coach, so outside of being just their coach, we build our relationships. I’m able to tell them how things are straight up and then they can go execute the best way possible,” Buddy said.

Providing an example of how to throw accurately to their teammates, Buddy ensures that the team receives the best training by having them follow along. (Courtesy of Buddy)

Believing the next chapter of his life would come with the growth of his students, Buddy hopes to keep working on the team and help the players not just in their evolution in the game of football, but also in the game of life. By presenting himself as a good influence, Buddy shows his true testament to working hard, by passing down his knowledge to the next Cavaliers stepping onto the football field.

“Honestly I feel like my growth amongst myself is gonna come within the younger generation, and I really feel that I just want to continue to be myself, a good person, a good friend in the world. I just feel like that’s what I’m focused on right now,” Buddy said.

Rekindling the Football Ambition
Hearing the Voice of Gables’ Football Team
Made by Irela Montelongo
Buddy’s Football Checklist to Success
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About the Contributor
Irela Montelongo
Irela Montelongo, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Irela Montelongo is a sophomore at Coral Gables Senior High. She joined CavsConnect in hopes of improving her writing and maybe one day following in the steps of her uncle who is a renowned Cuban author. Irela enjoys being able to express her feelings through her paintings and little clay sculptures in her spare time. She loves spending time outside but she loves it a little extra in the night time... primarily because she loves the way the air smells at night, a smell that reminds her of the bed time witch stories her dad would make up for when she was younger. Irela also enjoys reading in her spare time, mostly about human habits and psychology. Her favorite book right now is called "The four agreements". She loves listening to music and even playing little tunes on her guitar every now and then when she remembers she knows how to play. This year, she hopes to make the best out of even the worst situations and always put forth maximum effort so she will not be left with any "what ifs" at the end of this year.
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