Richard Sincere Jr. would like to be a juvenile probation officer or coach after graduation. Photo by Adrina Vines.
“I want to help out and give back to my community,” said Sincere, a junior in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. “I learned in my Juvenile Delinquency class that a lot of kids don’t get any attention at home. I can advise them and be there if they need me. A lot of kids don’t have anyone to go to.”
Sincere is pursuing his dream at SHSU, where he excels in the classroom as well as on the football field. Sincere, also known as #6 on the Bearkat team, was the Southland Conference "Offensive Player of the Year,” a first team all-league selection, and a pick for the College Sports Network All American Team. He was second on the team both in all purpose yards and touchdowns, recording more than 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving and 13 touchdowns in 2011.
Sincere is a wide receiver and a wildcat quarterback for the SHSU Bearkats. Photo by Sam Houston State Sports Information “He is listed as a wide receiver but he also is the quarterback in the wildcat formation,” said Paul Ridings, Web sports information director at SHSU. “It was definitely our best year in football in our 96 year history and Richard Sincere had a lot to do with that.”
Sincere was born and raised in Galveston by his father along with his younger sister and was the star quarterback for Ball High School. In high school, he worked with the Galveston Boys and Girls Club in summer camp for two years. He would be the children’s ”guardian” for the day and help organize games for them to play.
“It keeps them out of trouble,” said Sincere, flashing a ready smile. “It’s easy for kids in summer camp to stay out of trouble.”
Sincere still serves as an inspiration to the kids in Galveston. Local mothers are quick to point him out on the street as a role model for their children. “People say I’m a good role model for their kids,” Sincere said. “They always say they want their kids to be like Richard.”
Sincere dedicates himself to his studies at the College of Criminal Justice, and is enjoying his classes in Statistics, Criminology, and Crime and the Media. He plans to graduate in the spring of 2013, the first in his family to get a degree. “I am the first person in my family to go to college,” said Sincere. “That will be the biggest accomplishment of my life to get my degree. It would mean a lot, there are no words I can use to describe it.”
Jim Mabry, one of Sincere’s professors, describes him as “a wonderful gentleman, scholar and athlete.” “He is one of the best students I’ve ever had,” Mabry said. “He is always present, he is always prepared, and he is always pleasant. He was recognized as a class leader. He is a silent scholar.”
When Mabry told Sincere that he was a “hero” on the football field to his seven year old grandson Brock, Sincere teared up and returned the next day with an autographed poster of the team. Sincere still stops to talk to Mabry in the hall to ask about “his #1 fan, Brock.”
Sincere works hard at school, but also in his sport. Even off-season, he will be going to the gym five days a week. He spends all his free time with his teammates – about one-third of them are criminal justice majors or minors – and it helps him improve his performance on the field and in the classroom.
“We think of ourselves as family both on and off the field,” said Sincere. ”We like to do things together as a team and as a family. We take the same classes and study together.”
Sincere said the football team, which includes nine other criminal justice majors, is like family. Photo by Sam Houston State Sports Information Among the other criminal justice majors on the team are Offensive Linemen Forbes Baggett, Kaleb Hopson, Chris Rogers and Marco Segura; Linebacker Eric Fieilo; Wide Receivers Melvis Pride, Trey Diller and Torrance Williams; and Defensive End Andrew Weaver.
That teamwork has paid off. Sincere helped lead the team to its first NCAA Division I national finals appearance and the University’s first undisputed Southland Conference football championship. The 14-1 record marked the most victories ever for Sam Houston State in a single season.
Sincere said his two biggest games were the playoff game against Northwestern State, the final regular season Southland Conference game, where he scored three touchdowns, and the playoff game against Montana State in the NCAA Division I quarterfinals, where he caught the ball after it tipped off the defender’s hands, spun to miss his opponent and broke several tackles on his way to the goal.
Sincere said football was his motivation and key to get to college and believes it can provide an opportunities for other kids. He plans to pursue a minor in education so he can get a coaching job. He also credits his strong faith in God with keeping him on the right path.
“I have made a lot of friendships with many different people and I have been able to communicate with them,” Sincere said. “I have gone a lot of places and seen a lot of things because of football. It’s a big motivator. In order to play in college, you not only have to play well on the field, but also work hard in the classroom. That’s a big motivator to play.”