SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches. This blog shares stories from coaches all over the country transforming lives. For more information contact Lou Judd -

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Hesitant to Tremendous

Steve Frommeyer
Eminence High School
I was one of those coaches who was very hesitant about doing the jersey night program. We had so many players without dads or without strong male role-models in their lives, that I wondered if it wouldn’t do more harm than good. With Lou Judd’s constant encouragement, we did our first program last season. It was a huge success. This year’s program was even bigger and better. We had all but two players in attendance and everyone was so positive and supportive.
We started the evening by viewing the clip of Michigan State’s QB Kirk Cousins at the Big Ten Media Day program. We then had the jersey presentations. The dads and/or male role models present were so affirming and supportive. As before, a few of the presentations got emotional but in a very appropriate way.
After the presentations, we had former players come and speak about what it meant to wear the “warrior” jersey. It was a tremendous kickoff to the season! Our kids went out the next night and played extremely well, winning 30-6!
However, the biggest success was bringing the players together with very positive male role-models to help them understand what being a “man” is really all about!

Monday, August 29, 2011

This is truly why I got into coaching

We had our our father-son jersey night a few days ago. We had 17 seniors and each one was represented by either their father or important male.

This is truly why I got into coaching.

It was so moving. 

One of our seniors is a third generation Flyer and to see the pride on his face giving that jersey to his son and telling him how much he loved him and how proud of him he was. PRICELESS. 

I am truly blessed to be a coach.

Chris Tracy
Head Football Coach
Franklin County HS

Friday, August 26, 2011

I walk away from this campout a different man

By Sal Fucito
Cincinnati St Gertrude Head Football Coach
7th-8th Grade

This weekend our football program at St. Gertrude had their first ever Father Son Campout as part of our SportsLeader Virtues Program. This was absolutely a God ordained moving experience for me and I'd like to share with everyone how.

It is a fight to see my son. The relationship with his mother is not the best at all. Despite my failed attempts to get my son on weekends that are not "mine", I've not given up trying. This weekend was no exception. At first she said no, but the night before I received a text from him saying he could go. That alone moved me to tears that I was finally going to be able to take my son camping with me.

Friday night, it was an honor to witness men and their son's setting up their camp. Dad's and boys working together. Aaron and I were no different. He's only 8 yet he worked with the enthusiasm and tenacity of a warrior focused on their battle to get that tent set up. Aaron and I had it set up in no time.

After searching for fire wood and smores sticks, we built a cross together to carry while learning the stations of the cross. Aarong wanted to build a bigger cross than the other boys his age. He carried that thing high. As we sat around the bonfire and ate smores, men got up to give testimonies of defining moments in their lives. Awesome stories from these dad's. Then one of the boys got up to talk, a 6th grader. Very couragious and inspiring. My son looked at me and asked if he could talk. Of course I said sure, just make sure you are loud enough for all 70 people to hear you.

Aaron made one attempt and chickened out. Just not quite ready I guess. Then he made a second attempt and wound up being our last speaker. What Aaron had to say really showed me that my perserverance in fighting to see him is working. He stood in front of these strangers, men of all ages, and said "Thank You" to me for bringing him to this campout. He also said "I Love You". Oh I could not be any prouder of my son. Every week is a fight with him because he does not want to be held accountable for his actions at our home. When he is corrected he cries to go to his mothers house. It breaks my heart. BUT, last night, this weekend, he stood in front of 70 people and said thank you and he loves me. That makes all the fighting I've done the last 8 years to be his dad worth it.

I walk away from this campout a different man. Hopefully a different father and a different husband. As I shared with the men today, I've realized I have all the patience in the world with my players. We drill and drill over our steps and our techniques. But when I get home, I do not have the same patience with my family. Why not? Why does it bother me they do not have it right yet? Never mind that I know that Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". Everyone makes mistakes and none, no not one is perfect. So maybe I need to be more of a coach in my own home than the parent I've thought I was. Maybe I need to teach my kids in stead of yell at them and demand. Is it easy? NO. Is it possible? Absolutely.

Nonetheless, I know my son loves me and he was the highlight of my weekend. I know I'm not perfect, but a work in progress. God is moving in my life and in my home. I just need to align myself with His plan for me. I see it in my wife and in my children. Their desire for God in our life! I am the husband and I am to lead them. It is time I do my job. We need men to lead their families and to teach their son's how to be men and show their daughters the example for the husband they shall seek out. It's on us Men. I'm ready.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Make Planning a Priority

This year I have been blessed to get to know a coach who does an amazing job of planning and blending in virtues and coaching - Dave Quinn, Girls Cross Country at Powers Catholic High School in Flint, Michigan.

Here below was his plan for their recent pre-season camp. They have so many girls coming out for the team because Dave and his staff do such a great job of building a family - creating an atmosphere that you want to be a part of, that you want to belong to ...

Dave is just as busy as the rest of us but he makes it a priority. Thanks Dave!
I write this letter to you on the eve of the start of the 2011 Powers Cross Country Camp. As of now, we have 41 girls on the 2011 team.  This is almost twice the size of the team just a few years ago!

Here is my plan:

1. Arrive at Camp, and get the team ready for their first run of the day.  This is the tough one,  4 - timed miles!  Freshman will only do 2-3.  Eat lunch after the workout, followed by a swim, or some other fun.
2. Check - in (2:30) and get settled into the Cabins.
3.  Fun time at Camp (while events are available to the team)
4. Dinner

5.  Early evening, Introduce the team to Camp,  go over team rules, expectations,
a.  Handout questionnaires and get them all filled out.
b.  Reveal the "Buddy" list.  Each upperclassman will be a "Buddy" to one Freshman runner.  Throughout the season, they will make a special effort to be a friend to this new runner, and look out for them, encourage them, show them the "ropes", and help them, not only at practice, and races, but at school as well.
c. Collect the questionnaires,  split them into Mentor groups with Shelley and Trini.  Each of us will review the questionnaires.

6. Tuesday morning or night
a. Talk # 1.  Women of Strength and Character
b. Have the team fill out the "Goals" sheets.  Collect them and turn them over to each coach.
c. Discuss and promote the use of the 48 hr rule.
d. Short group discussion from the questionnaires or goals sheets

7. Wednesday morning or night
a.  Talk # 2. Virtues - Charity, Humility, and Courage
b. Read and discuss the Kolbe story…
c. Discuss as a group
8. Thursday morning or night
a. Talk # 3.  Making  a Commitment
b. Discuss Mentoring
c. Reveal and Discuss the mentor groups
c. Commit to Sports Leader
- I will Sign a poster board
- assistants will sign it,
- Seniors, followed by juniors, sophomores, and freshman.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Sight to See - Monday Night Football

It is not every day that you get to see a SportsLeader player on Monday night football on TV ... much less blocking a punt.

Congrats to Greg Jones - one of our very first SportsLeader alumni to make it to the NFL.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Defining Moments - St Gertrude Football Father-Son Campout

I was blessed to be a part of a Father-Son Campout this past weekend with 70 Dads and their boys from the St Gertrude football program. Dads and their Boys in grades K-8 made the 90 minute trek to Camp River Ridge for some fun, food, football, faith, fishing ... and other things that begin with F (smile).

We started things off by having a competition to see which team could collect the most wood for the bonfire. The creativity and drive was contagious.

Each Father then built a cross with his son and we prayed the Stations of the Cross so the boys could have a first hand experience of what carrying a cross is really like. 

Then it was time to light the bonfire and get those smores going. It took a lot longer than normal to get it raging but with a little perseverance ... We took some pictures and enjoyed the moment.

After we had our fill with the smores, we were graced with a clear sky that was chock full of stars. Looking up and taking it in! Then Coach Sal Fucito introduced our guest speaker - Jeff Gaier, the head wrestling coach at Moeller High School, who has been a part of SportsLeader for 6 years now. He gave a moving testimony of what his family means to him and some recent experiences he has had coaching-fathering-admiring his son Dean ...

Jeff then encouraged the Dads present to share a story of a defining moment in their own lives. It was awesome to see how man after man talked about something personal and important to them ...

We finished the night with a mystery of the rosary and a priestly blessing from Father Matthew.

The following morning the brave left their tents while it was still dark to see if they could catch the big one. Tim Gronotte did just that. Tim has caught a number of sizable catfish over the years generously helping out at these virtue camps. The sun coming up, the mist rising off the lake ...

And then the shouts of a 5 year old reeling in his first fish. It is amazing to see and hear the innocence, the excitement ...

Father Andre Joseph and Father Matthew heard confessions and celebrated Mass as we continued to focus on the 3 core virtues of SportsLeader - Charity, Humility and Courage.

There's nothing quite like leaving Mass and then throwing something at someone else - so off we went for some Father-Son dodgeball. The Dads were restrained a bit by having to throw with their opposite hand - this also provides a good deal of humor. We followed this up with a piggy-back relay race with the Dads carrying their boys ... then the call for breakfast.

Football agility drills, father-son football game, swimming, more fishing ... burgers and dogs for lunch.

We finished things off with a virtue talk about how to build a family crest.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Austin Gutwein - A 9 Year Old Who Stepped Up

At the age of nine, Austin Gutwein was moved when he learned about something. Austin then USED HIS WILL TO DO something about it.

Many times I think our expectations on our young people are way too low ... "they are only 18, they are just kids" ... we accept and in a way endorse immature behavior from young men and women. 

Austin is a great example for us. He was 9 when he began to do something big for others. He wasn't 30 ... he was 9 ... and now at 16 he is still full-speed ahead.

Why Austin and not our players, our kids? Why was Austin mature enough to act in such a way - at age 9?

Let's tell our kids, our players and coaches about Austin - encouraging them that they CAN DO things to serve others, they are not too young.

Get into your small mentor groups and talk about Austin and his story ... maybe one of your players will step up. If a 9 year old can do it ...

Virtue = Strength, Lou
In the spring of 2004, I watched a video that showed children who had lost their parents to AIDS.  After watching the video, I realized these kids weren't any different from me except they were suffering. I felt God calling me to do something to help them.

I decided to shoot free throws and on World AIDS Day, 2004, I shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during my day at school. People sponsored me and we were able to raise almost $3,000. That year, the money was used to provide hope to 8 orphan children.

From that year forward, thousands of people have joined me in a basketball shoot-a-thon called Hoops of Hope. By doing something as simple as shooting free throws, Hoops of Hope participants have raised over $2.3 million. The children left behind by AIDS now have access to food, clothing, shelter, a new school, dormitories, a computer lab, two medical centers and the list goes on.

I believe anyone, no matter what their age or skill, can make a difference.

I hope you'll join us by participating or sponsoring a participant. It's an awesome event that will leave an impact not only on the lives of the kids we're helping, but on yours as well.

In Him,

Now, in its sixth year, Austin’s basketball marathon – Hoops of Hope – has spread around the world. Austin’s passion has motivated tens of thousands of kids, teens, and adults to make a difference. Austin and Hoops of Hope have raised over $2,000,000 for orphaned children in Africa. 

Since 2004, Hoops of Hope has helped build 2 medical clinics and a high school serving 1,000 children in rural Zambia, 2 Hope Centers in Swaziland, and built a water project in Kenya. 

They have provided hundreds of bicycles and supplied medical clinics with more than 1,000 medical caregiver kits to assist HIV/AIDS infected parents with the basic supplies they need to live longer so they can provide for their children. 

The money Austin’s organization has raised has kept thousands of children in Africa from becoming orphans. Hoops of Hope is currently building a second school in India, and this year will provide 1,000 filled backpacks for students at the high school in Zambia.

Since founding Hoops of Hope, Austin has been awarded the Prudential Spirit of Community Service Award, the Baron Prize for Young Heroes, the Build-a- Bear Huggable Heroes Award, and this past Fall was selected as one of the top 10 most caring Americans by the Caring Institute for his work on behalf of AIDS orphans. Austin has been featured in magazines as well as in the national broadcast and electronic news, including CBS Sports' NCAA Pregame Coverage, NBC's Today Show, the NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Time for Kids, and Christianity Today.

In September of 2009, Thomas Nelson Publishers released Austin’s first book, Take Your Best Shot. For the second year, Austin was one of the speakers on The Revolve Tour 09, where he spoke to thousands of girls about the theme of his book. Throughout the past 6 years, Austin has been a featured keynote speaker at various schools, universities, conferences, and churches around the world with stops in Beijing, Luxembourg, Zambia, Qatar, as well as at the United States Air Force Academy.

Now 16 years old, Austin continues to speak on behalf of children he has met in many of his oversees travels. Austin continues to relay stories to raise awareness and encourage kids to participate and host, Hoops of Hope events. Although many lives have been improved through Austin’s efforts with Hoops of Hope, the impact of his message is still to be determined, as he continues to share and challenge his generation to make a difference, and with God’s help, to take their best shot, and do something bigger than themselves.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Love Your Wife and Family

A great message as many of us start up teaching and coaching again.

Let's remember to keep our priorities in order.
Dear Warriors!

Sunday, July 10th was my wedding anniversary with my beloved wife of 18 years, Krista.  

Unfortunately, I only celebrated my wedding anniversary with Krista until 12:00 noon that day.  I took two wrestlers to Ohio State University for a wrestling camp through Thursday and I stayed with them there at OSU. For better or worse, Krista is used to sharing me with others, including on important dates in our lives.  When you are a full time coach(or even if you claim to only be an assistant or part time coach), coaching has a tendency to take over your life.

I always thought, why does it bother her so much?  I am not out drinking or staying out late or causing trouble.  I'm not spending money we don't have.  In fact, I'm helping young people be better people.  I'm doing heroic deeds, saving lives, being a "dad" to so many kids.  Building a program takes time, and I was always taught, "If you are going to do something, make sure you do it well."  I'm doing the mission God wants me to accomplish.

I missed the point for so long.  Many, many women are neglected.  They were neglected when they were young by too busy dads(please read Fifth Quarter by Jennifer Allen, daughter of legendary coach George Allen), yelled at to work and stay out of trouble by too busy moms, used and abused by immature boyfriends and NOW their stud husband would rather spend his time with high schoolers instead of the women of their dreams.  Of course wives are hostile...and us dummies can't figure out why.

By the grace of God, I'm starting to figure it out.  I'm a hypocrite if I'm teaching "manhood" but I'm too busy to take a vacation with my family.  Or if I'm too busy to do the dishes and help clean the house. Or if I won't spend money on my family but will spend it to help out the program. Or if I won't be considerate enough to sit down and watch one of her favorite movies with her. And don't even get started with helping out with your own kids.  Fatherhood is another thing a wife/mother loves her husband to do.  You see we have all this strength but we aren't using for our wife and family.  It's like they are there but we don't even care they are there.  The time and effort we put into them would earn a 0-10 football season even though we have the potential to be State Champs!  Talk about wasted talent.

Also by the grace of God, I'm starting to figure out the better man I am at home, the better coach I am.  My wife loves me, she respects me, she sees that I have so much love for her AND I still have the time and energy for my mission as a coach. This awes a woman, the strength to be everything to everybody. She wants strong young people to be trained too....just not at her expense.  My #1 assistant is Kristaj, without a doubt.  She gives me confidence, she helps me think, she supports me emotionally behind the scenes, she builds me up when I need it and she tears me down(charitably!) when I need it.  I need her....I need her for so many things including coaching wrestling.

We have a crisis in our country right now...the breakdown of the family.  You know it and I know it.  I'm working to build strong young men that can become strong husbands and fathers.  We all are. But are you destroying a family in the process..your own?  That's the number one priority, after all.  If you remember you too made a vow, maybe not 18 years ago on July 10th but you have or you will. Be the best teacher/coach you can be and teach by your your wife and family!  Trust me, marriage does not get worse over time, it gets better.  Give it a try!

I love you Krista!  Happy Anniversary!  You complete me and you complete the young people I coach.
Love your husband,

Winton Woods Wrestling!: The mission of the Winton Woods Wrestling program is to train warrior boys into champsionship wrestlers and championship men!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adjusting on the Fly

Last week I had the opportunity to partake in a Virtue Camp with the Senior football players from Powers Catholic High School in Flint, Michigan.

It was a great day that had presented some challenges. At the last minute, the day before the camp, we lost the facility where we going to host it. That was fun (smile).

Athletic Director and Coach Mike Pruchnicki gave me an awesome example of how to adjust on the fly - he quickly decided to have it at his house.

Rearranging garage, basement, living room, schedule, games ... it was a long night but it worked out really, really well and the boys loved the experience.

We had some really tough conversations about team unity, commitment and self-denial. It is very difficult for many young men to open up about real problems in their lives and the life of the team but it makes them so much stronger.

One of the things that I took away from the experience was that this is so urgent and necessary for our young people. The peer pressure to be cool is so powerful and it blinds them so many times where they make decisions that they know are not what is best for them - but they do it anyway to fit in.

Teaching them about virtue and how to use their will to conquer the negativity is simply life-changing.

Keep up the great work.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fathers and Sons

We recently had a Father-Son Campout at Camp River Ridge for the Stallions and Saints Youth football organizations.

It was an opportunity for Dads to spend some quality time with their sons in the great outdoors fishing, swimming, playing dodgeball, grilling out, and of course having a smore as the sun went down.

There is a saying that our society is more and more a 40-40-20 ...

40% of families have no Dad at home, 40% have a Dad but he is too busy working or occupied with his hobbies and then there is the 20% ... those who make the special effort to truly be a Dad.

I was inspired by the men who attended. They were obviously of that 20% group and I personally learned a lot from them.

Sports has a marvelous opportunity to reach people in a way few other activities can. SportsLeader wants to "capitalize" on that.

Next weekend, God willing, we will be hosting another Father-Son campout.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Commitment Day - St Gertrude Football

I was honored to be a part of Cincinnati St Gertrude football this past Saturday. It is a parish/school with about 90 families in their football program.

I took some photos and some video of all the teams as they took another step in the SportsLeader program. It was "Commitment Day". As a SportsLeader team starts off the season, we recommend a series of talks about what it means to be a man/woman, what virtue is, our core virtues of charity, humility and courage ... leading up to challenging the kids to make a commitment to strive to be more virtuous.

Each team had a Commitment talk and then the coaches handed out the commitment cards to the players and fellow coaches asking everyone to make the effort to grow in virtue as a team commitment.

Every coach did an outstanding job. I was really inspired to see these men encouraging and motivating the boys to become great men.

Our society is in desperate need of this.

Here are some links to the videos. They are edited versions.

Sal Fucito - Head Coach 7th & 8th

Brian Redden - Football Coordinator and Assistant Coach 5th & 6th

John Gruber - Head Coach 3rd & 4th

Monday, August 8, 2011

Painting the Wall

The Wyandotte Roosevelt High School football team in Michigan has a tradition of painting a wall before the start of the season.

On the night of their virtue camp, the Seniors decided to go for it. They were going to spend the night sleeping on the field and they wanted to surprise their teammates with the wall done.

While they were painting the police showed up wondering what was going on. They ended up using their light to shine on the wall so the kids could paint it. 

Seeing players get creative - awesome.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Creating an Identity by Forging a Bond Through Wrestling

Here is a great article written by Paul Najjar of Catholic Sports Journal. He interviewed one of the Coaches in our SportsLeader association, Chris Willertz.

Willertz Developing Young Men at WWHS
August 4, 2011 
By Paul Najjar, CSJ writer

With some sports programs, improvement is seen beyond wins and losses. At Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, the wrestling team is one such example.
Chris Willertz is a football guy and a football coach. He has been most of his life. While an assistant coach at Cincinnati Moeller, he found a lot of success with that program that translated into a lot of wins. He was introduced to the SportsLeader program there, a virtues education program for young men and women of all faiths taught by coaches throughout the country.

When Willertz took a teaching position at Winton Woods, he also accepted the position of head coach of the wrestling team. It was not much of a program when he took over, but in three short years he’s built a team of good wrestlers and even better young men.

“Wrestling was never a big deal (at Winton Woods) and when I took over the program it wasn’t very good, nor did it have a whole lot of support or participants,” Willertz said. “But our kids have relished the attention and have enjoyed being a part of something that they think is different and special. Any time you have an adult male wanting to give you individualized attention, you feel special. And that’s a core part of the SportsLeader program: making these kids feel special and teaching them how to be men. Our kids have embraced that training.”

Beyond the mat and the hours of training devoted to developing skills, Willertz mentors his student-athletes in some unconventional ways. Whether it’s a weekend trip to the mountains with his seniors, or shoveling snow for free in the neighborhood around the school, his program is getting results. With more than 30 kids on the roster, the Winton Woods wrestling program is beginning to take root.

“Our numbers are getting better and better every year,” reports Willertz. “The kids like it, but it’s a tough sport and it’s tough to attract kids to a tough sport when our culture is so comfortable and focused on that type of personal comfort.”

What sets his program apart is the work he does with each of his wrestlers; the day-to-day mentoring that goes beyond the average coach’s workload or job description. Willertz, a devout Catholic, instills values and virtues into his student-athletes that will take them farther in life than any wrestling move.

“I think every man, young or old, wants to know how to fight,” he said. “Whether it’s a physical, spiritual, intellectual or financial battle, we’re teaching these kids how to fight. If you want to be a good fighter you’re going to have to be patient, wise and resilient. So I think virtues training is very applicable to wrestling. In this sport, you’ve got to take your opponent down and that makes this competition a little more real and much more personal for each competitor.”

“Kids like unique guys and coaches who will do things a bit differently, and that’s what we try to bring to the team members every day. There’s no magic fix, but ultimately, we’ve got to get them wrestling day-in and day-out. It can’t be just a three month season; it’s got to become a part of their identity that they are a wrestler. Not that they have to train 12 months a year, but we want them to identify with being a wrestler for Winton Woods high school.”

Creating an identity by forging a bond with these young men through wrestling is just one way that Willertz is making his mark with sports. He’s taken some of his seniors on an overnight hiking trip; two days and nights in the woods, just roughing it. In those situations and conditions, a young man can discover a lot about himself and his life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Football, Cancer and Compassion

Below is a note I recently received from a football and wrestling coach, Nick Corey. 

Yet another example of how "sports" can be so much more than "just a game" at times.


This was from the mother of Tony Merk, a six year old who died of cancer 4 wks ago. 

I've witnessed a lot of cool things in sports. Nothing topped last fall, when some 1st graders for Our Lady of Visitation--a team that included my son, Luke--practiced all week not touching number 88--Tony--who played for their upcoming opponent, Our Lady of Grace. 

We told their coaches to dress him for this game, and if he was strong enough, give him the ball for one handoff. We'd heard about his story and battle w/cancer. Word got out, and Our Lady of Grace was packed for a first grade football game--but of course, for much more. 

At the end of the game, just before it was over, a tiny, sick boy came on the field for just one play. The crowd stood and cheered and wiped moist eyes, and so did all of us "manly" football coaches. We couldn't help it. 

We told our kids this was "the play"...and then it happened. Tony got the ball, ran right, with our kids playing excellent 1st grade actors--diving for him and missing purposely, getting blocked purposely, and Tony went in for the score. The place erupted, and Tony's teammates and coaches picked him up, and our own first graders had smiles because they understood they'd done good. 

Balloons went up in the air, and Tony looked around, smiling, soaking it all in. I will never forget it. None of us will. 

Many from our team went to his funeral. Incredibly wrenching, but this is a family who knew that we were in it with them, there for them. Sports enabled this moment. Our job as coaches, I guess, is to look for these opportunities/lessons whenever they might be available. Peace.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kirk Cousins Kickoff Luncheon Speech

Kirk Cousins, QB at Michigan State, represents the players at the Big 10 Kickoff Luncheon with a speech 
that is an amazing example of charity, humility and courage.

He speaks well of his competitors, showers praise and respect on the coaches and expresses so eloquently the privilege it is to be a Division 1 college football player.

I would recommend showing this video to all your players as an example of how you bring the virtues into a speech ... how you can use your platform to help others.

I would also recommend showing this video to the parents of your players with the simple explanation of what we are trying to accomplish with SportsLeader ... we are striving to build up young men and women of virtue through sports who will be outstanding citizens like Kirk - who do everyone around them proud.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If Only

Yesterday I had an impacting experience. It was my daughter Zoe's 3rd birthday. I try to go to Mass with my kids on their birthday. So off we went yesterday Zoe sporting her pink overalls and pigtails. 

We arrive to Mass and come to find out that it is a funeral Mass. During the homily we learned that the deceased was a 28 year old young man who died due to drugs.

The theme of the homily could be summed up in 2 words: "If Only".

The priest's words were respectful yet straight to the point. 

The longer I listened the closer I was scooting Zoe to me praying that I would never be in a funeral like that again.

I also thought of all the athletes involved in SportsLeader teams all over the world ... If Only ...

Let's do everything in our power to shine the light of love and virtue as we coach these young people entrusted to our care so none of us feel guilty ...

So none of us years later say ... If Only!

Virtue = Strength, Lou