This week, the Blue Valley Tigers family, and the Kansas High School Football Coaching brotherhood lost one of its finest.
For those of us who have been blessed to cross paths with Eric Driskell, it has certainly been an honor to call him one of my friends.
I write this in a lot of pain today. My thoughts, and prayers go out to his family, and all of those that he has touched on and off the gridiron or the classroom where his affect has made the most on us.
Having lost my father three years ago March 13, 2013, it is a day that I think of daily. These days I am more than thankful to the Doctors and RN's, and more who took care of him at KU Med before his untimely passing at 56 years old.
Today, I have turned that pain in to a passion to carry out the good my Dad raised in me to the best of my abilities to others around me. Although we did not see eye to eye on many things, we had a common bond of music, and many more family things that are impossible to describe of at this time.
Having been fortunate to meet Eric a couple years back, I was able to come up to the Blue Valley Weight room during the summer to make a proposal of sorts with the current status of Blue Valley and what the outlook for the future was. Needless to say, both of us would not have any idea what the Tigers would reel off in the two Football seasons that followed our meeting. We laughed, joked, had a few things in common with a past or present job at the time as well. We happened to know a few of the same folks in the Energy/Electrical field far outside of the classroom walls.
It is no secret that in the hallways of Blue Valley High School, Eric Driskell was revered as confidant, leader, friend, and Coach to the students, faculty, and parents in the Blue Valley community. Having walked the halls himself as a student, and fellow alumni Athletic Director Matt Ortman guiding the Athletics ship, the Tigers tandem is nothing short of extraordinary. It was evident in my time working with Matt, and Eric while writing the Tigers Football history that they took a high interest in seeing what the overall history or outcome would look like.
Throughout talking with both of them, and having access to the office to work on my research, the intrigue of seeing what they both had built as student-athletes, and now as Educators themselves brought out a passion and pride of their school I had not seen in many other areas of the city.
Today is one of those days I would reach out to all of you to appreciate those we have around us.
I left Blue Valley High School that summer afternoon (weeks before school even opened) for the new school year with a smile on my face. A friendship was made, an appreciation of each other's crafts was gained, and a pride of us both having a love for our specific High Schools in one way or another reached it's max in our time together talking about life, Football, friends, and family.
To you, the Blue Valley Tigers, carry on the legend of Eric Driskell within yourself when you are asked what school you went to long after college. His ability to make an impact on your life will not be forgotten.
In closing, my thoughts and prayers go out to Eric's wife, children, and the rest of his family as they are going through this rough time in their lives. The support you have around you will never stray, as if you need anything like getting the lawn mowed, or needing some one to talk to when you are down, your loved ones will be there for you in ways you will never imagine.
Thank you Coach!