|Maureen Perez (top) and Adetokunbo Faleti|
The 2007 Dad's Weekend at Washington State University (Nov. 9-10) is a good time for the Cougar volleyball players to reflect on their dads or any other man who encouraged their participation in sports and helped them achieve being a collegiate student-athlete. Below are some of the players' responses:
Jackie Albright, sophomore, Lake Forest, Calif.
My dad has taught me to work hard at what I do and enjoy what it is that I decide to do. He always wanted me to be the "ultimate chick" so naturally he encouraged me to play sports, but he always wanted me to play volleyball. Once I started to play volleyball he helped me with the physical game as well as the mental part. I love my dad and I know he is proud of what I have achieved, so I am proud to say I am his daughter.
Adetokunbo Faleti, senior, Arlington, Texas
I would have to say that my father was very encouraging; he wanted me to be an all-around athlete. He wanted me to play every sport I could and made me strive to be the best in each one that I did. He was so into athletic success and how you can learn time-management, patience, work-ethic, self-discipline and teamwork from playing sports. I believe that is why he pushed me into playing sports since I was a child.
Kelly Hyder, sophomore, Huntington Beach, Calif.
My dad has coached me since I can remember in little league baseball, soccer, and roller hockey. He was always there to drive me to become a better athlete and teach me what it means to be a team player. He is always there for me when I am feeling down or need someone to talk to. He has constantly been there for everything I've needed and I love knowing he will forever be there.
Brittany Johnson, junior, Phoenix, Ariz.
Throughout my life both of my parents were very influential in my desire and passion to play sports. However, because of my dad's lack of physical mobility today, due to his Multiple Sclerosis, my drive to work hard on the volleyball court and in the weight room continues to rise. I put forth such great efforts to make my father, as well as the rest of my family, proud and to show him that I do not take my gift of athleticism for granted.
Brittany Tillman, freshman, Tacoma, Wash.
My Grandad encouraged my athletic career significantly. Although, he had a funny way of doing so, he was always in my corner, supporting and encouraging me. With all of my experiences with sports, Grandad had something to say. With basketball for example, he would tell me, "You don't even know how to double dribble," and "Do you know how to travel yet?" And of course, young and inexperienced, I would say, "Yeah, DUH!" He would laugh at my replies, and will not let me live it down to this day. Whether he had something good or 'bad' to say, he stayed involved with my sports expo, and I could not ask for anything better.
Maureen Perez, senior, Vancouver, Wash.
Above all else I think my father has instilled in me a never-say-die mentality. My dad was a college athlete and he has given me so much encouragement and words of wisdom along my own path through my journey with volleyball. He has always believed in me and no matter what happens, win or lose, he still loves me for who I am. Without my dad I don't think I would be where I am today, and for that I am forever thankful.
Cassie Robbins, sophomore, Yakima, Wash.
My dad is probably my biggest supporter when it comes to sports. He has always pushed me to be better and has always been involved whether it was making volleyball fan t-shirts for my high school team or standing with our Super Fans and singing the fight song after every match. He has always been cheering my teams on and telling me how proud he is of me.
Kimika Rozier, freshman, Murrieta, Calif.
If I could choose one man that encouraged my athletic career and helped me get here at WSU as a student athlete would be my high school coach. He is a man that has pushed me beyond measure while giving me life-long lessons that I will forever remember. He has been my father-figure in my life and has been that force that has pushed and still is pushing me to be the best athlete and person I can be in life. His words of wisdom will forever ring in my heart as well as his cookies that I love!
Amy Small, junior, Pullman, Wash.
How has my Dad encouraged my athletic career? Very simply - sitting on a bleacher all day long during club volleyball tournaments, driving all over the state of Washington for matches, bringing shoes to practice when I left them at home, big hug and smile when I was down after a loss, and always reminding me the most important thing: "play hard, have fun." I love my Dad - he ROCKS.
Stephanie Weishaar, junior, Camas, Wash.
My dad has taught me everything I need to know: how to throw a ball, cast a fishing pole, golf, throw a football with spin, play poker, you name it, he's taught me. He has been my biggest fan and support throughout my athletic career. He gives me the best pep talks and always fires me up. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. Thanks dad, I love you!
Tara West, senior, Perth, Australia
My Dad has always been my biggest supporter. I remember him being at every one of my club matches when I was younger. One year, he even flew over to the other side of Australia to watch me play in the National League final. But this weekend will be the first time that my Dad will be able to see me play volleyball for the WSU. He and my Mum are flying over from Australia to watch me represent the Cougs in the final four home games for the season. I can't wait for them to see me play in Bohler Gym.