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Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Tribute To Dad

Today is Sunday June 15, 2014 Father's Day!  Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there.  In honor of this festive day I am going to write about my father, Benito Abeytia.  In a roundabout way he is responsible for this very blog you are reading now.  As you read on it will all make sense.

I know this sounds cleache but my dad truly was my best friend.  As I get older I realize how much like him I really am.  And just like most of you if I had question, dad had the answer.  Since I was three or four my dad and I bonded through sports.  We were always watching any sport we could together.  My dad taught me a lot about the mental part of sports.  He taught me to to think before I react and to always anticipate the other guys next move.  That has helped me with my coaching career.

My dad used to take our whole family to St. Mary's High School football games every Friday night.  For us it was like going to see an NFL game. (Back in the 80's we didn't have the Cardinals yet) I can still remember this one time I got honor roll on my report cards and my brothers didn't do so well so I was able to go to the game just me and my dad.  Now I know it was meant more for a punishment to my brothers but it's a day I'll never forget, especially because I caught a football the cheerleaders threw after a touchdown.   I would look forward to Friday nights at Phoenix College.  I was also able to take my dad to his last St. Mary's game a few month's before he died.  My daughter and wife were with us continue the family tradition.

Mine and my dad's love for high school football carried on throughout the years.  Years ago Steve Belles was coaching at Mountain Ridge and they made it to the state playoffs against powerhouse Mountain View.  My dad, myself, my brother and a buddy took the long ride to Mesa to see the game.  My dad was already sick and so before I parked I dropped him off at the front gate.  My dad had a gift of talk, he was able to talk to anyone and keep them interested. He was talking to the guy at the gate taking tickets and when we walked up he just let us through forgetting to take our tickets.

My dad, joklying said lets scalp these tickets.  The  joke turned into reality and we sold them to some high school students for half price.  My dad had paid so he kept the money, but as we were leaving our plans were to go to a friends house and he said "hey lets take this money and get a pitcher" .  He wanted to go to our usual drinking establishment, and even though by this point in his life he didn't drink we went where he wanted to go.  That night I met the women that would later become my wife.These events are a perfect example of how sports and everyday life sometimes intertwine to change your life significantly.

So to you Dad, I salute you and never stop thinking about you!  Happy Father's Day!

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