Neil family displays excellent dedication to sport of wrestling
Scott Neil was at his usual post on Saturday.
He was coaching Basehor-Linwood wrestlers at the Kaw Valley League dual wrestling tournament.
He led the team to a fifth-place finish and a win over Mill Valley High School.
This tournament, though, had a different feel to it. Neil couldn't wait to get home. He wanted to see his wife and baby daughter. She was born on Wednesday and Neil coached the team while his wife Kelly stayed at home with Abby Marie.
It was the couple's second child.
As a result of the birth, Neil hadn't gotten a lot of time to coach his team. On Saturday, though,Neil attended the meet.
Truthfully, I wouldn't have blamed him if he missed the tournament. If he were in another profession he might have taken a week or two off from work, but Neil is a teacher. He is a coach and all coaches seem to know that the show must go on.
They have an unwritten bond with the players on the roster that says I will be there for you.
Coaches know that when the season comes there are no days off.
Neil, like a lot of coaches, credits his wife with making his life easy.
"I have a very good wife," he said. "She makes it all work."
In the Neil household, wrestling is as much a part of the framework as nightly television or trips to the grocery store.
Kelly is the team's cheerleading sponsor.
"She is very good and loves the sport," Neil said. "She is the cheerleading sponsor and should be here next weekend."
In truth, the Neil family has been through this process before. Isaac, their oldest son is 16 months old.
They know how to juggle babies and wrestling.
That family's dedication to the sport of wrestling is special. The wrestlers on the Basehor-Linwood wrestling team should appreciate that type of dedication.
Probably by the end of the year, Abby will attend her first match.
The couple's children might grow up in gymnasiums watching wrestling. They will see examples of dedication to a sport and what it takes to win wrestling matches. They will grow up in a sport known for teaching discipline.
That can't be a bad place for a child to be.
Congratulations to the Neil family on the arrival of their newest little girl.
They should also be applauded for the work and their dedication to the sport. They seem to never take a break.
Asking him if he considered not going to the tournament would have been heresy.