I have been blessed to have the opportunity to teach Physical Education, Coach Football and Girls track at Naperville Central for the past 37 years. Last year I retired as a Physical Education teacher and Girls track coach. I remain the Head football coach at Naperville Central High school.
The Students, Teachers, Administration and support staff at Naperville Central make it a very special place. As I came in today to meet Jeff for the picture, I had a feeling of emptiness and sadness. Something was missing and has been missing since March 13th. The work out for that morning was still listed on the board more than 2 months later. I miss seeing and being around the student athletes each day.
We normally walk into the weight room at 5:45 am and soon are joined by 35-50, enthusiastic and motivated, student athletes. They know the time put in now will benefit them in their present or upcoming season.
Sure the athletes are there to get bigger, faster and stronger, but the most important thing that is built during these work outs are relationships and friendships.
Athletics provide such a great opportunity for young people to be part of something bigger than themselves and to work together for a common goal. The life lessons that are learned through athletics are so important in the growth and development of athletes, parents and the coaches involved.
Those daily in person interactions have been replaced with zoom meetings, text messages, emails and phone calls. The athletes have stayed just as enthusiastic,motivated, positive and hopeful through this unusually situation we are in due to COVID-19. Their energy motivates and encourages me.