Most Viewed Stories
Hall of Famers inspire high school athletes
TUSTIN – Football players from Orange County high schools participated in the Legacy Leadership Project's Leadership Conference over the weekend that ended with an event Sunday at the Boys & Girls Club of Tustin. Athletes, parents and coaches listened to a wide range of speakers, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Ron Yary and Mike Haynes.
"This program is trying to act like a guide for these guys so they make the proper decisions in life and they don't get one-dimensional in their thought patterns and that they don't just focus in on football," Yary said. "They need to broaden their perspectives and find out that they are supposed to help people along the way."
Thirty-one rising seniors were nominated by athletic directors and coaches to participate in a weekend of speakers and activities to help them develop leadership skills.
Casey Cooper, director of the LLP, and Yary, started the project four years ago as an attempt to help foster relationships between athletes at the beginning of their careers with those at the end.
"The goal of the program is to provide leadership and life skills development curriculum that could be beneficial to that team and that school the following year," said Cooper, a sports psychologist based in Lake Forest. "As these young men learn better leadership skills, it has a cumulative effect on the team."
The event culminated when two of the athletes were chosen to be mentored by Yary and Haynes, along with the opportunity of attending the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, and meeting other Hall of Famers.
"Out of all the kids that were here, they're all really cool people and exceptional leaders," said University's Kevin Brown, one of the selected players. "I am going to take advantage of all the time in Canton, Ohio, and take advantage of the mentor."
Along with Brown, Tustin's Skot Rounds was chosen. They were picked based on essays and participation throughout the weekend.
"They are just in store for something special," Haynes said. "The thing they're going to learn most is, those guys who are in the Hall of Fame put their pants on the same way they do. They have mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters."