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  • Writer's pictureTopher Enneking

Reconnecting with sport through kickball and more

As we get closer to Tuesday’s WNBA Tipoffs and Tacos at Johnny’s Tavern, I’m finding myself aware of the moments occurring around me.

I was recently diagnosed with a sports hernia, so my reinvigorated relationship with sports is having to change. I’m in my base coaching era, so I’ve been looking to practice and have picked up base coaching and bookkeeping assignments on new Lawrence city league kickball teams on Friday nights. And I participated as a volunteer in the KiFA (Kickball is For All) clinic.

The Kickball is for All clinic was a huge success

It's still difficult to keep myself from kicking and throwing. In fact, I failed every time, but being able to shift my focus has-been affording some awesome moments. I got to talk about catching fly balls with an old high school classmate. I got to bring water out for everybody so that they can keep drinking their beers in the heat.

I even got to meet Coach Tanner, the long time football coach of Haskell University who I recognized from all the years I’d seen him and his son Brady powerlifting while I was training for football. Brady was clearly taking it more serious than me, because he ended up a Special Olympics gold medalist and Special Olympics Kansas Hall of Famer!

Coach Tanner and I got to chat about the changing landscape of college sports and the change that occurs when our bodies start to break down. It’s wild to think that he was the coach of the first football team I ever watched!

The routine of sport has been getting me back out of my hermitage. I’ve always been a person that tended to myself, but the endeavors I undertook in athletics pulled me into community with people on a routine basis. I continued that routine when I worked in the service industry. Being in places where people go to gather got me out of my shell. This endeavor with STATSdraft is doing the same thing because the only way we can make this thing work is if we connect to people.

Recently, we joined the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and will be utilizing their help in spreading awareness of STATSdraft to our community. I’d been pushed away from sports and that community in part due to difficult relationships with coaches. Too often I focused on the hardship that I was enduring. In time I’ve learned that I am better suited to focus on all the teammates around me, helping me get through that difficulty. Thanks for being our team. We appreciate the support and if you can make it out on Tuesdays, we’d love to see you at Johnny’s Tavern in North Lawrence for Tipoffs and Tacos.


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