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Suitland's Steven Rivers Perseveres On The Field During Ramadan


6:50 PM, Aug. 10, 2012 EDT

Reporting by Dave Owens, 9 Sports

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The Islamic holy month, Ramadan, is being practiced by millions all across the world. It is a period of daily fasting during which Muslims do not eat from sunrise to sunset. 

That's a grueling task for Steven Rivers, who is currently a junior wide receiver at Suitland High School in Prince George's County. 

"[The fasting] taught us peace and how to stay calm during specific situations," said Rivers. "It's been difficult going to practice hungry. It's hard."

Ramadan forces Rivers to wake up just before 4:30 a.m. for a pre-sunrise meal, followed by sleep, time with family, studying the Quran and then prayer. 

Around 2:30 p.m., it's finally time for Rivers to hit the football field for a two-hour voluntary workout. By the end of practice, Rivers has been nearly 13 hours without food or water. Suitland head coach Ed Shields makes sure he pays extra attention to Rivers during Ramadan. 

"It makes you smile that he's pushing through it, but again your other eye is watching to make sure he's okay," said Shields. 

After the exhausting day, Rivers comes home to a feast prepared by his mother, where the wide receiver counts down to the very second he can dig in. 

"8:26 p.m.," laughed Rivers. 

 

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