North Park Coaching Sticks With You For Life
Growing up in Walden and being Wildcat was awesome. We always told our girls that it was a special place to be a child and teenager, learning to become the adults we are today. Looking back, especially at our community, everyone was like family and watched out for each other.
As kids, we couldn't get away with anything. If you did something out of line your parents knew what we had done before we got back home that same day. That's probably why as we got older and started playing sports, and I mean all sports the town was always there supporting us. They were always cheering us on, our crowd always seemed to be bigger than the hometown crowd, it didn't matter how far we had to travel for a game, there was always a caravan following the bus. So, when our coaches Solie, Goulette, Beck, and Myers would tell us “remember no matter what, we represent North Park all the time, and as an athlete in this town you had better take that to heart”. I think we did a pretty good job of that, as always with teenagers, we had a few stumbles, but our coaches and our town would get us back on track.
It wasn't only when we became high school athletes, it goes back to being in little league. I remember my coaches Bob Woodard and Adolf Rodriguez saying the same thing, “You are from North Park, you play hard all the time because that's what we do. We will always be better sportsman than the other team when we win and especially when we lose”. Coach Hodgson had the same message for us. That was a great thing for me, because no matter where I went with my team mates everyone knew we were from North Park, and if they didn't we could count on Brian Geer to let them know!
I believe we still use that same philosophy today in our lives. Work hard, family first, and never give up, it’s always been the "Wildcat Way." Even if you didn't win that day and you took some hard hits, you know you left it all on the field and on the volleyball and basketball court with no regrets. It was awesome to grow up a Wildcat in a small community were everyone took care of each other. To this day, even though we haven't lived in Walden for many years, we still say “we are from Walden,” we always will.
Most people know, but Lisa and I have known each other since fourth grade, dated our high school years and became pregnant our senior year. As two seventeen-year old’s, this was a huge game changer in our lives at the time. We continued sports, graduated, and 7 months later we had a baby girl, and we got married. Our commitment to each other, our family and being hard workers, comes from the way we were raised and the Wildcat core values that were instilled in us comes from. 28 years later we are happily married, we have 3 beautiful daughters all grown up, and now 2 granddaughters. Life is GOOD!!
My best memory is the fact that I met Lisa, I have many great memories of growing up in North Park, the friends that are lifelong friends, even the ones I was not real close growing up seem to be good friends now. That just stems from growing up a Wildcat. I would not trade any of it for anything. Thank you to all of you who had anything to do with it, my family, all my coaches, teachers, team mates, friends, I remember you all, it was great.