PCA-Arizona hosted a Zoom celebration for the 2020 Triple-Impact Competitor® winners to tell the story of these incredible athletes. Jody Jackson, a reporter for FOX Sports Arizona, moderated the event which featured the Head Coach of the Arizona State University Sun Devils Football team, Herm Edwards.
"I really enjoyed the days when I would be roaming out on the high school field and now as a parent, I see where it all starts. Those glorious moments – a World Series or a Super Bowl – all start at a very young age with a positive sports experience."
Jody Jackson, FOX Sports Arizona Reporter
Mike Nealy, one of PCA-AZ Chapter Board members, began the event with remarks by started by honoring Arizona Double-Goal Coach® award winner, Heather Frushour.
"Without a great coach, we cannot become the athletes that we want to be and Double-Goal Coach® means striving to win and being competitive but it is also critical to focus on teaching life lessons," he said. "Good coaches, through sports, teach the life lessons that athletes can take with them."
Frushour, a Track and Field coach at Empire High School in Vail, believes that champions in sports accomplish more than accolades on the field.
"One thing I always ask my athletes is how they define a champion," she explained. "My younger athletes usually say that champions come first, or they get the school record. By the time that they are seniors, they realize that being a champion does not always involve record-breaking. They begin to think of a champion as someone who brings a positive attitude every day and constantly gives a consistent best effort. We do not always remember our awards, but we will remember those lessons as we move through our life."
Attendees also heard from Bart Catmull, President and COO of Sagicor Life Insurance – the sponsor of the PCA-Arizona TIC scholarships. Sagicor Life Insurance has worked with PCA for over 5 years and enjoys working with the Tampa Bay area chapter as well.
Catmull grew up in Chandler and attended Chandler High. He encouraged the scholarship winners to remember to take action as they face the next challenge in their lives.
"In this time where there is so much confusion, so much angst, and some fear, there’s a quote that I want to share with you which is 'the antidote to fear is action'," Catmull said. "Each one of you experienced moments of fear and some angst as you waited to take on that next challenge in your sport. The fear of the unknown is something that at times can keep us on the bench or on the couch. Fear can keep us in our apartment or house. The only way we can really succeed in this life is through action and I challenge each of you as you begin this new stage of life to take action. Do not sit around waiting for the world to come to you but go out and take yourselves to the world."
Jackson then announced the 2020 TIC scholarship winners and gave each the opportunity to say what the award means to them, offered advice for other athletes, and shared their plan for the fall.
“Do not stand silent, you have a platform and you have a voice. And with that voice, make sure that you are the voice of reason and that you have solutions so that we can move America forward.”
Herm Edwards, Head Football Coach Arizona State University Sun Devils
Herm Edwards, who played and coached in the NFL and currently works as the Head Coach of the Arizona State University Sun Devils, closed out the event by offering remarks on the unique times we are living in.
"As much as we think that we control what we do every day, we found out that we really do not," Edwards said. "We realized this as our country faces a pandemic and witnesses the social movements around racial injustice. I challenge all student-athletes to not stand silent when injustice or racism appears. You have a platform and you have a voice. With that voice, make sure that you are the voice of reason and that you have solutions so we can move America forward. You can make a difference in people’s lives. Sports eventually ends. It comes to an end for all of us and generally not on your terms. Sports is not only about making the game better, but it is about working to make your teammates better because they were in your presence."
Edwards also remarked on how the standards of sportsmanship revolve around making the game better by being vulnerable on the field.
"I have always said this, 'if the game is not better because you played it or coached it, you failed the game'," he said. "The preparation is the hardest part of any sport. You will practice more than you will actually play in the event. The greatest thrill that an athlete has is allowing themselves to be vulnerable. They are not afraid to go into the arena, at any level, and in front of their friends and family and everyone else who’s watching and be vulnerable. It takes a strong person to do that."
He concluded with a few questions from the athletes and reminded athletes and others in attendance to “continue to trust in your hopes, not in your fears.”