Genuine All Star
I’m spending the weekend at the CHASCA Allstate Games at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. Athletes from the sports of wrestling, cross country, football, volleyball, baseball, softball, spirt, girls and boys basketball are gathered here to celebrate one thing. Simply being awesome. They were nominated by coaches in their region to represent their sport. It is the best of the best, playing together in a mixed classification competition. I follow students and share of their successes all the time because I love kids and I love seeing young people excel. Today’s student athlete is different because this one is my son.
Kason Brown is a 2017 graduate from the North Park School District in Walden, CO. He played for the North Park Wildcats in football, track and basketball throughout high school and is proud to be a Wildcat. The weekend before he graduated he spent the weekend winning a handful of medals with his relay teams at the State Track tournament. He’s an amazing young man, and I don’t say this because he’s my son. His coach here at the All State games said it best to me yesterday. “I like coaching kids like your son because they are genuine. The have heart, listen and are willing to work hard. He’s a good kid.”
He’s genuine. That statement hit the nail on the head. Kason is the only athlete on his team not going on to play college ball to further his athletic career. He is shorter, but just as fast as the others. I can see that he is intimidated to play with the level of athletes he’s sharing the court with, but he shouldn’t be. He’s not here because I think he’s awesome, he’s here because others recognized his heart, talent and ability and felt he was deserving. He is. Kason didn’t have stats stacked in his favor as the other players do, but there is no one on the court more team oriented and willing to work. His team is mixed with 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A players. These kids play fast and hard. With only two practices under their belt they are barely getting to know each other. They all know the guy next to them represents the best from their teams. They are good, really good and it humbles my son to be a part of this experience. Kason knows that he is only as strong as his team, a lesson well taught by his coach and teammates he played with.
At Kason’s last high school athletic awards, Coach Chad Carlstrom shared that he came to the awards that night in a down pour rain storm. He shared that he felt that was God crying because the NPHS Senior boys of 2017 were graduating and moving on. I think he was right. A large lesson can be learned from the heart and soul of those young men. To be a player willed with talent and skill is a gift. To be one that has those qualities but puts his team first, that is a true gift. Kason came from a culture of athletes he considers his brothers that had that talent, skill and heart for their team. He’s never stepped on a court, field or track without them in tow. He can read the minds of where his band of brothers next move will be in any sport. He came from a special and unique situation not all athletes have the pure pleasure of experiencing. He is one with his team mates from North Park and played by their side for 13 years… never missing a beat because they were a well-oiled machine.
This is a new game for Kason Brown and a first lesson in life. The reality of leaving his high school career behind and “playing” on a new turf with others was evident yesterday. I’m proud to be here and watch him playing with the best of the best. He was selected as one of the top 40 players in the state and his community should be proud; his mom is. So while I stand on the sidelines as the “Team Mom” for the Boys in Black today, I will cheer for them as they play in the championship game. .Afterall, team is what got my son here and made him a genuine Allstar.