My story also involves Coach Schloder. With regards to basketball, I started playing in youth rec leagues and was always to the tallest kid which allowed me to hide my lack of real athleticism. My team could always throw me the ball in the lane and I could score over my smaller opposition. As I got older, my height did not change as fast as my teammates and I went from high scoring center to medium scoring forward to fair outside shooting the guard to always getting my shot blocked but decent passing point guard. I still loved to play and love being on a team where all members regardless of their skill were valued.
My senior year after having played two seasons of Frosh/Soph and one year of JV, I tried out for the Varsity team and the day prior to cut day, Coach Schloder pulled me aside and told me that he valued my effort, but that if he did keep me on the team, I would get very little to no playing time, but he felt that I could help make us a better team by my efforts in practice and my encouragement of my more athletic teammates. I took him up on his offer and to this day, although I believe I only played in a handful of games, my experience being part of that Varsity basketball team and competing in practice and the camaraderie of the locker rooms and bus rides had a profound impact on how I view sports today. It has allowed me to be a better parent to my children involved in sports and I have been able to relate my experiences to them to make them better teammates to their peers in their athletic journey. My son was just honored as the Unsung Hero on his football team and he understands that the value of sports is not the accolades achieved, it is just about being a part of a team and helping to make the team better by one’s efforts and attitude.