Looking out for one another

I wanted to share some words of wisdom from someone who means a great deal to me.

He played Cardinal football with my oldest son Michael, Coach Berger’s oldest son Danny, Coach Gemas’ oldest son Kyle, Coach Bartels’ son Justin and Coach Stolz’ son Timmy. He  helped anchor a Highlander  offensive line that played in the state championship game at Camp Randall two seasons in a row; 2006 and 2007.

I talk to all of you about sticking together, looking out for each other and making good choices.  Despite the fact that Adam is closing in on the end of his college career, he felt the need to talk to you about some of the lessons he has learned over the past couple of years.

In his own way, Adam is still sticking with you, trying to look out for you, and coaching you up to make good choices.

“I played both O-Line and D-Line when I was your age. Don’t EVER forget any play, any practice, or any lesson in these years. What is taught to you now, and what you learn now, will influence and define you for the rest of your lives. Put your best foot forward and play every game, every moment, every instance, as it truly represents you; play like you will never play again.

When the question is asked “What do you plan on doing with football?”, or “ Why do you choose to play football over just focusing on your schooling?”, one must relinquish what they once thought to be their true self, to finally understand who they really are and who they must become.

When I first started with football (which wasn’t until 6th grade when I could have played in 4th or 5th) I figured it was just a way for me to take out my frustrations and anger on others. This ended up being the case, but it proved to be much more than that. I had many great coaches who mentored me: Coach Hahn, Coach Berger, Coach Gemas, Coach Bartels and Coach Stolz.

What they spoke to me never really hit the spot until about 2 years ago when I was in college. I hope differently for you. You must understand that there is a life beyond high school. What you do now and in the next few years only represents a small fraction of who you are as a person. I made many mistakes in the past years, and you know what…. That’s ok! What you do NOW only represents a small portion of your life. Having said that, what you do now, builds you and who you end up becoming in more of a way than I can possibly put into words.

I wish I had understood what others had said to me (like I am saying to you) when those years were pertinent to me. Your parents nag and in your mind “whine” about what you may or may not do, but PLEASE believe me… what they say is the truth! I finally realize that now and only wish I had sooner. Yes, you will make many mistakes in your early years… but it is how you overcome those mistakes, and prove yourself to be more than the average man, that truly defines you.

I can only hope and wish that you realize this before the years that I did. I know that I’m just another voice in your life, but you must understand that I was in the exact same position you are not so many years ago. Whether or not you choose to listen to a guy like me, who you have never seen nor do you know, listen to those who have been in your shoes or those who have mentored people in your place for years.”

 Adam LaDell


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