Grandchildren give grandpa plenty of reasons to be proud
A few issues back I wrote a column about a condensed version of the achievements of my granddaughter, Kristi Hoffine, in volleyball, basketball and softball at Bonner Springs High School. In doing this I inadvertently neglected the achievements made by my grandsons is their high school sports. I don’t want to leave them out, especially while reflecting on my family during the holiday season.
My daughter, Carol Bristow, lives in Leavenworth. She has three sons that made several accomplishments in soccer at Immaculata High School. The Bristow brothers kept soccer very much alive during their tenure at Immaculata. Joe, the oldest son, was a mainstay on the great IMAC soccer team of 1994 that lost 1-0 to St Thomas of Aquinas in the state finals.
Back then, all soccer teams in Kansas competed in the same bracket rather than having separate tournaments for Class 6A, 5A and 4-1A. Joe, who led the Raiders in all four of his years of high school, was named to the All-State second team that year.
At that time IMAC didn’t have a baseball team. In accordance with the Kansas State High School Activities Association, Joe was eligible to play baseball for four years to Leavenworth High School where he also excelled. Joe received a scholarship at the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth where he played for four years.
Mike Bristow, who was a freshman when big brother Joe was a senior, also turned out to be an excellent soccer player. In one game he entered the game and Joe asked, “What are you doing here?” Mike had observed for several years a pro soccer player that made an in-bounds pass by doing a flip in the air, and then making the pass at his highest level. Mike worked on the flip-throw and was able to do the same thing.
Mike’s high school performance got him a scholarship at Rockhurst College where he expected to be a JV player as a freshman. As the season progressed, however, he became a varsity starter. The Rockhurst coach encouraged him to play club soccer in the offseason where he blew out a knee. That ended his college career, but Rockhurst honored his scholarship for three more years.
Thom Bristow, the youngest of the three brothers, also excelled in soccer for three years at IMAC before transferring to Leavenworth High School for his senior year. Joe and Thom still played recreational soccer after leaving school, as did Mike, but he re-injured his knee.
The Bristow brothers were instrumental in all the success of the Immaculata soccer program. While at USM, Joe went back to help coach the IMAC team. Carol Bristow, the mother of the three boys, had about 15 years of experience following soccer was very adept at the knowledge of the game. She became an official for the youth soccer league in the area.
Two other grandsons had some success in sports with Lance Finley playing baseball for four years at Piper High School. He also ran cross country for a year. Another grandson, Travis Finley, didn’t compete in high school sports, but while at Kansas University a friend persuaded him to go out for the rowing team. He agreed, and he went on to earn a silver medal during a meet in Wichita.
I also have a great granddaughter, Haley Hoffine, who is playing basketball and volleyball at Clark Middle School. She also is a member of Fred Stanbrough’s Swoosh Team in Bonner Springs. She has been eyeballing her mother’s numerous school records in basketball and volleyball at Bonner Springs High School — good luck Haley!