Cato June Returns With Big Plans
March 7, 2012
Cato June recently walked the hallways of Anacostia High in jeans and a black sweater. The tattoos that cover his muscular arms, rugged from a seven-year NFL career that included a Pro Bowl appearance and a Super Bowl ring, poked out slightly from under his sleeves.
He navigated a maze of construction, ramps and detours on the inside, scaffolding and equipment outside the Southeast school. June is in the midst of a rebuilding job of his own at his alma mater, starting with athletics. And in his mind, it begins with football. In December, June, already the school's athletic administrator, was named the school's new football coach, and he has a vision for both roles.
"I want to bring the level of Anacostia athletics back where I think they should be," said June, the 1997 All-Met Defensive Player of the Year. "To me, it's about changing the culture and changing the way kids think about sports. There's the pride as a school."
Some students look at June, 32, and have a hard time making sense of him. As he walked by a classroom recently, a student sized June up -- when he was playing, he was listed at 6 feet and 225 pounds -- and thought he was in his late 40s.
"It's great being able to kind of start again where everything all started in a sense and being able to take things that I've learned in my career and affect change in a positive way," June said. "It's one thing to give money and give speeches, but it's different to be part of the day-to-day operations."
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