It is never easy being a father. It is one of the most demanding, challenging things a man will do in his life. Any man can father a child, but it takes a man to be a father. Being a father is a process of raising a baby from infancy to adolescence, to adulthood.
Being there for your children in the good and bad times — when a father doesn’t have the answers — is everything. Sometimes it’s to listen and keep your mouth shut, and other times it’s to offer advice, a hug or a shoulder to cry on.
Being a father doesn’t come with a manual, most of the time fathers are making it up as they go. What works for one child or family might not work for another sibling or another family.
A father’s legacy from one generation to the next generation will last past their lifetime. Most of the fathers will not know whether they have succeeded until later in life when their children are forced to bring out those values, morals and code of conduct during the hard times in life.
As dads get older, it means having your children gather around and laugh at things that happened, that wasn’t funny at the time. Or having a father embarrass their kids at the wrong time.
RDR Sports has watched plenty of father and daughter/son interactions throughout the year. Just to name a few in no particular order: Last week, I saw Goddard principal Brian Luck hitting baseballs to his son at Noon Optimist All-Star practice. During the Goddard baseball season, I have witnessed his son and daughter come up to the press box and ask for money to buy refreshments. Brian will dig into his pocket and hand them money and tell them to shut the door on the way out, only to have them forget and leave the door open.
I have witnessed Goddard coach Chris White, whether they have won or lost, go over and hug his daughters and wife after a game. Goddard coach Jared Neighbors, hugs his wife and daughters after a game, and new Assistant Athletic Director Dennis Montanez, is at every boy’s basketball game watching his son, Brandon Montanez.
Rockets’ boys basketball coach Anthony Mestas is with his two sons in the locker room after a win or loss. This past season when the Rockets made it to The Pit in the quarterfinals, Mestas and his sons posed on the ramp at The Pit for a keepsake.
I’ve seen retiring Goddard baseball coach, Henry Villareal, coach both of his sons, Cal and Ty just to be around them and be a part of what they were experiencing.
On the Roswell side, I have seen football coach Jeff Lynn have his boys in the locker room hanging out. One of his sons answered a question last year and said he expected his All-Star team to win and he was confident in himself and his team. Coach Lynn told him to say it with confidence and to be confident in himself.
RHS’ boys basketball coach Fernando Sanchez’s sons play basketball in the gym outside his office while he works. There’s the ever-present Moses “Dude” Burrola at Coyote Den with his sons, Tarren, and Taymon in the gym shooting basketball in season and out of season. Softball coach Art Sandoval desires to coach his youngest daughter, Tori.
Before they won the state championship, Dexter’s football coach Arturo Duran always had his kids around, and Dexter’s new girls basketball coach, Joseph Cobos, desires to spend time with his children and has been coaching them throughout their high school careers. He coached son, Nick in basketball and will coach his daughters until they graduate.
I have witnessed New Mexico Military Institute boys basketball coach, Sean Schooley, attend his daughter’s volleyball games — Lacie Schooley at Goddard — and gives encouragement to her and her teammates. Or NMMI football coach Joe Forchtner, and his son, Jay, riding in a golf cart during his seven-on-seven flag football tournament handing out water to coaches and officials.
For the athletes playing the games, RDR Sports has witnessed numerous fathers at games giving their children support, win or lose. Several area coaches offered their thoughts on what this day means to them.
Roswell softball coach Art Sandoval: “Father’s Day means the world to me. My dad has been such a great role model for me and the rest of my family. He has set examples for all of us, and he expects me to do the same for my kids.
“My dad is a great man and he’s always been there for me through thick and thin and will continue. One day I hope to be half the man he is. Nothing has been given to him and he has worked for everything he has. He’s been such a provider to his entire family. The world needs more men like my dad.”
Goddard boys basketball coach, Anthony Mestas: “It’s such an honor and blessing to be a father. One of my greatest joys in life is sharing my love for basketball with my sons, Ryan and Izzy. I feel like being a dad has given me a better understanding of what it takes to be a good coach.
When I first started coaching, I wasn’t a father yet and didn’t have much patience when it came to kids putting other things before basketball. Now as a father, I understand there is more to life than basketball and sometimes there are other priorities, and that’s OK.
I love that it, (Father’s Day) falls on Sundays because Sundays are always Mass in the morning and we get to spend quality family time together in the afternoon. Nothing brings me more happiness than being with my boys. I’m looking forward to another great Sunday with them.”
Roswell boys basketball coach “Dude” Burrola: “Father’s Day means what our family stands for. Since I and my younger brothers were younger, we were always with my dad, Rudy Burrola, growing up at the Boys Club. We were raised with hundreds of other boys who looked at my dad as their dad as well.
“To me, Father’s day is special because my dad took the time not only to be my dad but to look out and raise hundreds of kids that went through the Boys Club. My dad has been a big part of my life and raised me to be who I am and instilled in me how to raise my own boys.
“I have tried to raise my three boys the same way by surrounding them with kids at Roswell High School, that I would call my own. From the time I started at RHS and all the guys I have coached, they have a spot in my family. I raised my boys along with many of the great players that have come through Roswell’s gym.
“By doing so, hopefully, my boys will do the same with their kids when the time comes. Sports and being around teams and competition throughout my years and being taught by my dad to never give up has played a huge role in my life and is now being instilled in Tarren, Taymon, and Trey, among other kids that have played for me.
“We have taught them the same importance of work ethic and never give up attitude to be successful in life. Thank you to my dad for making me who I am and for me being able to teach my kids what he taught me.
“Every Father’s Day means everything to me because it has made me and my brothers who we are today, and we want to give those things we’ve learned to a new generation of kids and hopefully years from now these kids will give back and be great father’s themselves.”
Dexter girls basketball coach, Joe Cobos: “Father’s Day is a day to look back on the past years and evaluate yourself on fatherhood. Being a teacher and a coach, you spend a lot of time with kids that are not your own. It is important to be reminded that my personal kids need their father as much as any other kid.
“It is a blessing to be able to be around my kids as much as I am. At the same time, trying to be a role model and example for those that do not have a male figure in their life. All of our kids will eventually grow up and leave. Let your kids know every day how much you love them, no matter how old they get. Sometimes that practice-game that you think is so important does not measure up to the importance of a day with dad.”
Dexter football and baseball coach, Arturo Duran: “Just another special day that I get to spend with my family. Another blessing I’m honored to have. It also reminds me of the positive influence that I want to be for my children every day.
“It also reminds me of how happy and proud I am of my father for everything he has done for me and my brothers and sisters, to show us what is right and wrong in life. I love getting together at my brother’s house and making food and just enjoying each others company. There’s nothing better than being with the people you love and care for.”
Roswell’s assistant football coach and head track coach, Tim Fuller: “It is an opportunity for me to celebrate one of my superheroes, my dad. He’s an amazing person. I’ve learned so much from him. It is always exciting to see if my kids remember. I’m sure their mom will remind them. Finally, we remember the Heavenly Father who guided and directs us if we let him. He is the best role model of what being a father really is.”
RISD athletic director, Britt Cooper: “It’s just great to have kids that are successful and have done great. Desiree and Sterling Cooper. I lost my own father when I was 13 years old, he died of lung cancer. It’s special for me to see them grow up, whereas, he didn’t get to see me grow up. It’s just the greatest thing to be a dad.”
Whether you’re a dad, coaching an athletic team, or not, fathers have the most important role of all, they are the head coach of their own team. From RDR Sports: Happy Father’s Day.