I'm unsure on how often "Team Dinners" take place in NFL organizations, but I'm almost 100% sure that they do happen in high school programs and the like. I'm not talking about the type of team dinners in which all of the players, coaches, and other staff have before a game or after practice at the organization's facilities. I'm talking about the more intimate type of team dinner in which the Head Coach and the Assistant coaches have the privilege of eating dinner in the home of a player and his or her parents.
As the Head Coach of Cabrini Connections I was privileged to be invited to a team at the home of one of our star players this past Saturday. Mr and Mrs. Rodney and Shavonne Clark, parents of 8th grade standout player, Savon Clark, hosted this very special team dinner. The reason this dinner was special was not just for the great spaghetti, chicken, fries, and cole slaw that Mrs. Clark provided the group; this team dinner was special because of members of the team that were invited and the reasons why.
Savon Clark just recently selected his high school (Lindblom Math & Science Academy) and Mr. and Mrs. Clark wanted to get some of Savon's position coaches together. Mike Kolberg (Savon's tutor/mentor at Cabrini Connections), Brian Duffy (Savon's Big Brother from Big Brothers and Big Sisters), Tom Stauton (Savon's mentor when enrolled at Cabrini Green Tutoring Program), and myself (Administrative Coordinator of Cabrini Connections) were invited to this special team dinner. This gathering was called to thank a few of the people who have been assisting with getting Savon to the playing level that he is now, but also for all of us to meet each other and discuss ways to get Savon to an even high playing level in the future...to the level of a future college and career standout as well!
As the Head Coach of the Cabrini Connections I would in turn like to thank those Position Coaches (Mike, Brian, and Tom) for their dedication and commitment to providing Savon with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to be successful in this game of LIFE. I would also like to thank and commend Mr. Rodney and Mrs. Shavonne Clark for ALL THAT THEY DO for Savon and his younger sister Alonje Clark (future Veterinarian). In this sport where a player's success or failure can be greatly impacted by the role of the parents and/or guardian, it is imperative that the parents support and guide these players...their children, and Mr. and Mrs. Clark are definitely contributing to Savon's success on and off the field!