It all started roughly 18 years ago—give or take—with the birth of a son.
The newest, tiniest, most lovable member of the family overjoyed the proud parents.
Then the changing of diapers, sleepless nights and the early training of a child ensued. Not always easy—but you get through it, always somewhat wiser on the other side.
Then it was middle school along with the turbulent, challenging and sometimes rather curious changes that occur in young people. Those inevitable times that are difficult for parents and youngsters alike as children grow and seek independent thought and action.
And finally the day came to begin high school, a time and place when kids strive to find out who they really are. Full of a desire to understand life coupled with an all-knowing confidence and a little too much attitude, teens often test out the waters of rebellion, at times pushing their parents’ limits far more than they should.
But through all the good and bad ups and downs, we bestow unconditional love on our children. We do the best we can. But still we often wonder what our kids really think of us.
In honor of Father’s Day, we asked six outstanding student athletes to reflect upon the examples their dads provided during their formative years. The teen athletes, each accomplished in their individual sports and academics, shared with us how their fathers taught them persistence, the value of a teammate and how honesty and integrity helped them be the best they can be. Perhaps, more importantly, these teens have learned from their dads that winning isn’t the most important thing—it truly is how the game is played.
Here are six tributes to fathers—in the words of the teen athletes. When it comes to scoring in life’s game, these dads are all winners.
|Greg & Conner Crooker|
|Kyle & Dan Harrison|
|Paul & Matthew Martin|
|Joe & Austin Moses|
|Kevin & Jacob Currence|
Randy & Tripp Roy
all photos by Matthew Taylor
Blue Valley North
Crooker was the leading scorer for the Mustangs who finished third at the Class 6A state basketball tournament. He was a first-team Class 6A All-State pick and a member of the National Honor Society at BV North. The incoming freshman will play basketball at Northwest Missouri State in the fall.
I’m glad I get the chance to thank my Dad for all the years he helped me with basketball. Since I was in first grade, he either coached my team or found the best team I could play on.
He traveled to all of my tournaments and watched every game. He sacrificed his time by constantly rebounding for me in the gym or in our driveway.
He was wise and resourceful and spent lots of money on my strength, conditioning and training. He pushed me to be the best I could be and on days I didn’t want to play, he motivated me to practice anyway. He was great at analyzing and critiquing my games to make me better. My dad and I are both very competitive and stubborn and work hard at the things we’re passionate about. I’m thankful he is my dad and passionate about basketball!
Blue Valley Northwest
Harrison is a two-sport athlete for the Huskies. He played in the defensive secondary in football and as a guard in basketball. He started several basketball games for the Huskies, who placed second at the Class 6A state tournament. Harrison has a 3.7 grade point average and will be a junior at BV Northwest this fall.
My Dad has been a great role model for me my entire life. He taught me a lot. He has been a big impact on my sports life.
Ever since I was little, he was at my games supporting me. He was always introducing new sports and showing me the fun in them.
Dad was always playing catch or shooting hoops with me and I always enjoyed it. He never forced anything on me or put pressure on me to play a sport.
He has made it to every one of my games. He also supports me in many other aspects of my life. He’s always there to give me a few pointers or teach me new things in my life.
I couldn’t have asked for a better dad, and I hope to one day be as good a father to my kids as he is to me.
St. Thomas Aquinas
Martin is a two-sport athlete playing on the varsity level in both soccer and basketball. He helped the basketball team qualify for the Class 5A state tournament and has been on the high school honor roll for three years at Aquinas. He is a member of the Key Club (the service honors club). He will be a senior this fall at Aquinas.
Throughout my life, my dad has been my greatest role model. Ever since I was little, he has been teaching me how to play soccer and basketball. He coached my teams up until my eighth-grade year. He is at all of my games, no matter what!
I look up to my dad, because he is very wise and always very honest. I have learned that his criticism is constructive criticism and it always pays off. He has taught me how to be a tough competitor who can win and lose with dignity.
Off the court my dad has shown me how to grow as a person. He has always been there for me and pushes me to strive for the best I can be at everything I do. I owe everything I have ever accomplished to my dad. He’s my biggest fan, and I’m his.
Blue Valley Northwest
Moses played wide receiver for the football team, earning second team All-East Kansas League honors. He is a middle infielder/outfielder for the baseball team and is a member of the National Honor Society. He will be a senior this fall at BV Northwest.
Dad, Father, the advisor, the enforcer and the encourager.
All of the above titles apply to my dad.
My dad is very sports-minded. At 5 I began playing soccer. Then came the baseball, basketball and football. There were many good tips Dad gave me to improve my skills no matter what the sport. I have always enjoyed watching sports on TV with him and still do. Discussing athletes and their abilities on and off the field.
My dad’s interest in my schoolwork was pretty apparent. He often asked, “How are you doing in class?” He stressed to me that school was “my job” and my goal was to do my BEST! Be a hard worker, be honest, make good judgments, be a good listener, pitch in to help others, be a leader. At times I felt my dad was too strict. But he just encouraged me to work hard academically as well as athletically. His constant advice and reminders have helped me to set goals for myself. I now know that Dad had my best interest at heart. So now on Father’s Day … I thank you, Dad.
Blue Valley Southwest
Currence was a three-sport varsity athlete for the Timberwolves: football, wrestling and track. He was a 2012 NAIA Champion of Character Award Recipient and captain of the football team his senior year. Currence was a two-year captain of the wrestling team and a two-time state qualifier in wrestling.
He will enter college this fall.
My dad was the whole reason I started playing sports. Ever since I can remember, he has always come to my games to support me and to cheer on the team.
When I started wrestling, Dad was the one who always got me psyched up before my matches and drove me all over the state for tournaments.
Even when I would lose, Dad always had advice for me and would pick me up when I was down. He always pushed me to work out with him over the summer in middle school and I’m glad I did, because it taught me to take responsibility and that you’re only as good as you make yourself.
When I become a father, I will strive to be as good a man and dad as he has been to me and support my children the same. I love you Dad, and thank you.
Blue Valley West
Roy was captain of the Jaguars basketball team and a two-year captain for the golf team. He was the East Kansas League champion in golf his junior year. He has been in the National Society of High School Scholars and has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll. Roy will be a freshman this fall at Drury where he will play golf.
My dad is someone who has always been there for me. He has been there to celebrate with me when I did well and has been there when I have struggled. My dad has always been my biggest fan and has supported me in every aspect in life.
I started playing basketball and golf at the age of 6 and my dad was the first one to volunteer to be our coach. He not only taught me how to play these sports, but taught me life lessons as well.
The thing I am going to miss the most when I go off to college is the Sunday night golf rounds we play. We talk not only about golf but what is going on in our lives.
My dad is the best person in my life and I wouldn’t be who I am today without him.