Saturday, September 10, 2011

Speaking of Heroes

I had the most incredible morning. The town where I grew up dedicated a road in the name of my dad. 

My dad was a legendary football coach and Phys. Ed. director in my home town. He not only coached many successful seasons, he established a sports program in the town which has been in place since 1953. 

As I walked from my car to the spot for the ceremony, I noticed several sports teams playing on different parts of the field, cheerleaders stretching in preparation for the upcoming game, and an impromptu basketball game. There were signs and banners rooting for the home team. 

I realized, this scene was very similar to the scene I would have seen 40 years ago when I was one of those cheerleaders stretching in preparation for the game. This was the program my dad established all those many years ago. 

Several people spoke about the strong influence he had on the town's sports program, and quoted his incredible record. Former players and colleagues spoke of the way he had with his football players, and called him a great motivator. He truly coached the kids on and off the field. One of his favorite sayings came out today:  "I can, and I will!"

The program ended with my brother unveiling the new street sign.  We all posed for pictures under the sign, and talked to people we hadn't seen in a very long time.  Somehow I managed to keep from crying during the ceremony, but I did shed a few on the car ride home.

It's hard to believe that I could have a lot in common with a man who coached football. Me, with zilch athletic ability.  Me, who prefers to sing or tap dance or teach small children.

But we both have a common theme:  We both would do everything within our power to get young people to be the best that they can be.  We are both motivators.  We are both passionate people who care about kids being successful.  The man has been gone for 9 years, and yet he is with me every day.  He is my hero.

How appropriate for this weekend, the 10th anniversary of 9-11.  A time to celebrate the heroes in our lives.  We certainly celebrated a hero today!

Who is your hero?

Some links:
Bondelevitch Way Open for Travel

Big Blue Football Continues the Bondelevitch Winning Way

David Bondelevitch's blog: I Can and I Will

David Bondelevitch's blog:  Father's Day



Here's my dad (center) with his staff and captains back in the early 1970s.



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