On a beautiful sunny father’s day I only thought it fitting to write my column in appreciation of the many wonderful fathers out there who have contributed in so many ways to the lives of our young athletes.
I can remember my first love when it came to sports, a love that was fostered by my father, who at the time was the varsity soccer coach for our local high school. He would bring me to many of his practices when I was just a few years old and would let me kick around the ball with the bigger kids. I can still remember the jubilation that I felt when these kids, many who were 2-3 feet taller than me, would say encouraging words when I struck the ball well with my foot. I think in his heart although he never told me, my father knew that this was as thrilling of an experience as there could possibly be for his son. He certainly was right, as to this day I cannot help but smile when I think of those early years, standing on the pitch with my father, believing that I belonged out there with his boys.
Beyond the many great lessons my father has taught me, I cannot help but think how many lessons he, through his coaching, spread to the many other young children in our town. In trying to appreciate this, I only needed to look at my other adolescent athletic experiences to realize just how large an impact other fathers played in my upbringing. My first baseball coach was my next door neighbor, a man who taught me the importance
When I think of these wonderful fathers who helped shape my life, I can’t help but think of all the other ones out there with or without children, who pass on many lifelong values to our nation’s children as if they were their own.
It is selfless men such as these who help shape the lives of young men and women alike. Through their deeds and through their messages does our village truly raise a child.