Mom of football star, cheerleader supports son off the sidelines - Dallas News |

Mom of football star, cheerleader supports son off the sidelines

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Cencelia Pierre is proud of her son, a 335-pound nose tackle who just so happens to be able to pull off a pretty nice herkie.

But speaking exclusively to FOX4, Pierre says that doesn't mean she'll go to his football games.

"I'm nervous, and I don't like football, I don't know anything about football, and I just don't want to watch him play," Cencelia Pierre, Armand Fernandez-Pierre's mother, said. "It just really, really makes me nervous."

Armand is getting national attention for his many talents, which include - but certainly aren't limited to - playing football and cheerleading.

His double-duty during games began when football coach Clayton Sanders spotted Armand.

He says the senior was reluctant at first, because he'd suffered a serious neck injury playing football as an eighth grader.

The risk also worried his mother.

"It was just a very devastating time for me as a parent to see my teenager that broken," Pierre said.

He decided to stick to cheerleading as a junior, but agreed to play football his senior year.

"The deal was that he and my cheer coach would have to figure a way that I could play both sports in the same season," Armand said.

He told his mother, it was a challenge he had to conquer.

"He says, 'Mom, I've gotta be there, I don't want to be afraid of it,'" Pierre said. "And I've got to trust him, and I've got to allow him to make choices. Because he's about ready to go to college, and he's a young man."

His cheer coach also briefly protested, but realized the opportunities Armand would have to play college football.

"We fought tooth and nail to keep him just on our team and our sideline," Eric Daboa, Episcopal School of Dallas cheer coach, said. "But we realized what a good athlete he is and understand the opportunities that he would have with football."

Armand and his mother hope the game will lead to scholarships for college, allowing Armand to fulfill his dream of studying medicine.

The senior finds similarities in the two sports, though he approaches each with a distinctly different attitude.

"[Cheer] is about encouraging each other and moving forward as a group and a team," Armand said. "When it comes to football I love being able to be, I guess - how could you say it - brutal."

But that's not all - Armand has gone to state in choir, is in theatre, plays Lacrosse, power lifts is a great student and works 20 hours a week with the Geek Squad.

His mother is humble, and wouldn't take all the credit for raising such a motivated son.

"I would be remiss to take credit. It's really God," Pierre said. "As a single parent you really have to invest - I would say even in a traditional two-parent home - your kids are an investment. And you have to really spend a lot of time molding them, praying with them, praying for them, praying over them. And just instilling good sound values."

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