By Angelina Herrera
Junior Dijon Stanley has been an impressive addition to the varsity football and track teams bringing not only skill and notoriety but camaraderie to both teams.
From a young age, Dijon Stanley has been influenced by the sport of football by his three brothers and his father all of whom played football as well. From their influence, he has worked hard to hone his craft for 12 years now and counting.
Before coming to Granada Hills Charter (GHC), Stanley played for Grace Brethren High School in Simi Valley. He joined their team as a freshman, but left after the pandemic caused a shortened season.
Stanley joined the Granada Hills Charter High School varsity football team during last year’s shortened season and made an immediate splash as the player to watch.
In just four games during the previous season, Stanley scored 15 total touchdowns and rushed over 1000 yards. Not only is Stanley winning accolades on the football field, but also on the track. Stanley also runs for the track team and took first place in the 200m, 400m, and 4x100m relays last season.
Unfortunately at the beginning of this season, Dijon broke his clavicle during a game leaving him to sit on the bench. However, that did not stop him from giving up the one sport that he loves. This setback has led him to become a stronger and even better player for the rest of the season and more to come. His strength was evident in his first game back, where Stanley had 14 carries, 154 yards, and two touchdowns.
‘It felt good to be back on the field because it felt good to be doing the things I love to do,” Stanley said.
Even with the injury, Stanley has won much recognition for his impressive skills. He has been mentioned in local newspapers like the Daily News, who named him Boys Athlete of the Week last April and is the star of any coverage of the team. However, that doesn’t affect the way he interacts with his teammates. To them, he’s just part of the team.
“He’s a great player. He’s really fun to work with because he’s positive and lifts up the team. The room lights up when he’s there,” lineman and junior Jeremy Torres said.
Stanley himself is surprisingly humble when asked about his skills.
“The notoriety is good and it feels good to be noticed in the newspaper, but I’m a regular person,” Stanley said. “I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to continue proving myself.”
He was recently invited to play at NBC’s 2022 All American Bowl, an all-star high school football game held in San Antonio.
As his football career grows, Stanley has already been given offers from multiple colleges like Michigan University, the University of Colorado, San Jose State University, and UCLA. We can only anticipate more as he enters his senior season next year.
“Getting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity makes me feel happy and accomplished since not many athletes can get noticed in the hard work that they dedicate their life to,” Stanley said.
Stanley credits his skills and success in football to his father. His father is one of the most influential people in his life.
“My dad is the one who inspires me because growing up he sacrificed a lot for me to be able to do things that I wanted to do and become the person that I wanted to be,” Stanley said.
From his father to his coach and teammates to all the fans, Stanley’s dreams of playing college football and then in the NFL seem to be a sure thing. He’s on college and newspaper watchlists as well as our own. We can’t wait to see what he accomplishes next semester on the track team and next year in football!
“Football is my passion because I love the rush and camaraderie of playing with my team,” Stanley said.