Havre de Grace senior fullback-linebacker Alfredo Deschamps loves to play football, but the senior also has plenty going on off the field.
Deschamps is a talented artist who's looking at majoring in engineering or architecture and design in college and possibly minoring in graphic arts. Deschamps, who came to the United States from Puerto Rico last summer just before the Warriors began football practice, is heavily into graffiti art.
He likes to make designs on some of the approximately 80 pairs of shoes he has and then sell them. He has also done artwork on book bags, pants, shirts, hats and shoes. Deschamps has been a solid contributor to the Havre de Grace football team that made the playoffs last season and started at 7-0 this season (including a loss against Joppatowne that was overturned due to an ineligible player).
You didn't have an easy start to your Havre de Grace football career, did you?
Well, I got home from the airport at about 1:30 in the morning, and then I had to get up for a two-a-day practice that morning at 7. I was already exhausted from all the packing and unpacking from [the move from Puerto Rico]. I didn't have that much sleep. But I was determined. I had to prove myself.
How much different is football in Puerto Rico from here?
I played football there, but it's more for fun there than for competition. It's not too competitive. I played since I was little. It was a big change here. It's pretty different; the way the team is, and the way the team works. It's more serious, but I got used to it.
How much have you improved in football since coming to Havre de Grace?
Before, it was more proving myself, and now, it's more like doing everything right so I can get better. We're having a good year this year, and I want to help. I really would like to play college football next year.
How did you get started with the graffiti artwork?
I've always done art, drawing and stuff, since the third grade. When I got into high school, I had a friend who was into graffiti art ... and around the neighborhood there were murals everywhere of graffiti art. It just caught my eye.
How did you get so interested in the shoes?
I just really like my shoes. I like wearing shoes that nobody has. I just started painting mine.
What's your favorite design that you've made on shoes?
I've done my initials on one of my shoes, and it has a bunch of big clouds and bubbles and stuff around it. The biggest thing I like incorporating in my designs are arrows going in all different directions with stars shooting. It's just something I like. It just reminds me of a shooting star, shooting for your dreams. That's what I'm trying to do, shooting for my dreams.
How much has this year's team improved?
At the beginning of the season, it was no fun and games. We lost a lot of seniors last year, so we had to really pick it up. We take it serious in practice and work hard. We have good team chemistry, and it always brings us together, especially when we're doing good. We all want to have each other's back.