By Rory Dew
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
When Eric Castillo first stepped foot into Gayle and Tom Benson Fieldhouse in 2010, he had a dream.
After deciding to attend college at the age of 27, Castillo’s dream was to be a member of the Incarnate Word football roster although he didn’t even have any high school football experience.
Little did Castillo know his journey through college football would present him with opportunities he never imagined to be possible. Over the course of three years, Castillo would impress those involved in the program with his strong work ethic, which made up for his lack of experience.
However, Eric’s journey through the football program was not an easy feat mentally.
“I had to deal with inner voices,” Castillo said. “But I would think to myself, if I can finish this then I can share my story.”
Through perseverance and a steep learning curve, Castillo managed to make it onto the field for about eight plays when UIW hosted Abilene Christian University last Nov. 9.
“I never thought about getting in,” Castillo said. “My goal was to make it on the team and be able to suit up on game day.”
Castillo’s story is one that resonates with many because it teaches hard work and perseverance can overcome adversity, no matter how impossible it may seem. It is for this reason that Castillo shares his story with young athletes and other organizations.
Towards the end of his senior season, Castillo decided to speak to children at local Boys and Girls clubs in the San Antonio area. From there he progressed to talking to a number of high school and middle school football teams. As Castillo continued to share his story he saw the potential impact his testimony could have on those around him.
The series of talks soon progressed into an idea to make a documentary about his story.
“I started to look for filmmakers in the local area,” Castillo said. “I didn’t know it would end up where it has, but I had a vision to share my story.”
Nearing a year since his football career came to an end, the documentary, “The Power of a Dream,” is in its final stages of production. The film itself will not only tell Castillo’s story, but also include appearances from several members of UIW’s football team such as Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, who is a volunteer offensive assistant coach for the Cardinals.
“The Power of a Dream” initially was slated for release over the summer. However, the premiere was pushed back closer to Christmas.
“We have everyone we want in the film but we want to shoot some more footage from games this season,” Castillo said. “We had to take 90 hours of film and turn it into a 90- minute feature. I would prefer that we release it a little behind schedule and have it be the best that it can be than to rush the process.
“What people will take from (the documentary) won’t just be football,” Castillo said. “It is about life.”