by Kimberly Pena
Jarrod Cann, the free safety for the Central Connecticut State University football team, is coming off one his best, yet roughest seasons as a Blue Devils athlete.
The team just won its first Northeast Conference Championship since 2010, while remaining undefeated in their respective conference. Despite the accomplishment, it has not been all smiles and high-fives for Cann. He lost his mother, Sherry Brown, on Oct. 23 with her battle against leukemia, something he knew his mother was battling coming into the season.
“It was very hard,” Cann said. “That was my biggest problem coming into the season, trying to stay focused. That is what she would have wanted. She would have wanted me to do something productive with my life. She was always my biggest fan and wanted to see me go far.”
According to Cann, his mother was supportive of Cann’s dreams and was a firecracker in terms of personality. She always carried the load and provided Cann and his other three siblings, from her side, a great childhood and assuring that there was always enough love in the home.
“She always stuck with me, she always loved me to death. She was a fierce woman,” Cann said smiling.
Cann says recovering the loss of his mother was tough, but he had a family at CCSU that stood by him and made sure he got through this tough moment in his life.
“Everybody, not just my teammates and the guys I am around every day, the whole CCSU family really came together and helped me get through this. Of course, I am going to go through this for a while, but everybody really came together and all checked in on me, you know the administration and people I really don’t know,” Cann said.
Cann began a GoFundMe campaign to help pay funeral costs and to provide his mother the ceremony he believed she rightfully so deserved.
His end goal was for 12 thousand dollars, but it came up short as he raised $8,965 instead. However, he says he is grateful to those who contributed and was appreciative of the support he received from his fellow peers.
He says that he still hears his mother’s voice while on the field and can see her in his dreams, something he says he takes great comfort in.
During the NEC Championship game against Duquesne, Cann states he felt his mother with him there and thinks she is the reason why CCSU came out on top.
With only five seconds remaining in the game and Central leading by only one point, Duquesne was in prime position to snatch victory by just needing a 19-yard field goal to go through. But it was no good.
“It was incredible. I believe my mom blocked that kick, honestly I totally believe that,” Cann said with a laugh. “It was a great game and I am very happy that we came out on top.”
With an NEC Championship already under his belt, Cann says he is looking forward to his future as he hopes to embark an NFL career, a promise he made to his mother. With his guardian angel by his side, Cann feels he is on the right path to do it.