A former high school football star says the spotlight and the partying nearly killed him.

His name is Chris Alston. He was 16 years old when he was shot in 2003 while he was leaving a nightclub. Now, he's back on the football field turning his painful past into a passion for young people at Rosedale Recreation Center in Northeast, D.C.

It’s a field of tough love and hard knocks. Thirty-year-old Chris Alston, along with his support staff of Coaches Justin and Janard, lead the Rosedale Tigers.

The 12 year olds are just four years younger than he was when he was shot and paralyzed.

“At that age I thought I knew everything because I didn’t’ have a father figure,” he explained.

“I thought I was the man of the house I thought I didn’t have to listen to no grown up because I had no father figure. And I had to pay the consequence for it but I don’t regret it because it taught me a life lesson: Don’t be hard headed because 9 out of 10 times you’ll be punished for it. So I tell my kids always listen to adults when they tell you to do something because it’s for a good reason. I feel like I was punished when I was shot, because I was moving too fast. I got to be hard on these boys but I do it out of love because I wish someone was hard on me. Football is not promised to you as you can see by my situation but an education is and as long as you have an education you can do anything you want in this life. That’s what I try to teach these kids. Some of them listen, some are hard headed but I’ll never give up on them.”

Coach Chris is trying to raise money to help the Rosedale Tigers get new uniforms for this season. If you’d like to help visit their GofundMe page.