As parents we spend most of our waking hours thinking about our kids. Did I give her lunch money? Was he wearing his jacket when he left for the bus? Is she eating enough vegetables, maybe I should start sneaking some cauliflower in the mash potatoes? How well rounded is he, maybe I need to get him in more extra-curricular so he has a better shot at the college he wants. All of these are thoughts that run through our minds 24/7. I have often heard the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child.” We spend so much time worried about our impact on our children that I’m not sure we spend enough time thanking the other “villagers” that are helping us.
George Quintana has been an integral part of the Elko youth sports village for many years. George has grown up in Elko and is a graduate of Elko High School in 1992. He is proud of being from here and has in turn given back to our community in multiple ways. George started coaching youth sports when his children were young. He has two girls and one son ranging from 23 to 18. His son will also graduate from Elko High School in 2019 and one of the joys that George has is watching his son continue to play sports. He glowed with pride as he talked about his son Christian having the state record for interceptions for the 2018 season.
George started coaching ten years ago with his daughter’s softball team. He later started also working with the Elko Junior Football League, and Elko Little League. He has spent time on multiple boards for youth leagues throughout his coaching career and poured a lot of his time into making sure that the sports leagues operated smoothly for our community. Countless Saturdays at ball fields, evening practices, and he has even coach traveling and all-star teams! George’s players are some of the best. His team won the championship in 2018 for youth football for ages 12-14. One of his favorite things is to watch how involved playing a sport makes the kid, and when they come back to him years later and say, “Thank you Coach.” He has gotten to watch many of his players in each sport go on to play throughout high school. He gets to truly share in their evolution.
If you have spent time at one of George’s practices you have probably heard him talking to his players about treating playing a sport like working a job. He tells them all to treat their teammates like co-workers, and to respect on another. He tells them that the work they put into it is what they will get out. He is not only teaching them how to run a play, or swing a bat. He is providing our youth with the foundational skills to be successful adults as they grow up.
I asked George what his favorite memory while coaching has been. He told me that he has two. His first was during Boarder Wars in Utah in 2015. His all-star traveling football team won the championship title in some hard fought victories. His second is in 2015 as well when his team beat Battle Mountain in Battle Mountain. This was the first time that Battle Mountain had lost in eight years and it was a huge moment for his players.
Coach is getting ready to hang up his whistle. He believes that next year will be his last year coaching football. He is going to take some time as an empty nester and spend time traveling, going to concerts and enjoying his free time. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be a short lived retirement though. George has two grandkids that will quickly be approaching the age to start being all-stars themselves. He made no secret of about the fact that he could not wait to see them play or be involved in whatever it is that they decide to do.
This is the biggest advice that George gave. Never force your kids to be involved in something. Let them be who they are going to be, whether that person is an all-star baseball player, writer, actress, or a kid who really loves to play the cello. Most of the fun comes from them all being unique. He also wanted the kids to take time to thank their parents. He said that most kids do not realize the sacrifice that parents go through to have them in sports. Whether it is the time going to practice, and games or the financial sacrifice to pay the fees and get uniforms. It is important that our youth understand the commitment that everyone involved is making.
We want to extend a huge thank you to George for all of the time he has devoted to our children and many others. Our kids may not be the well rounded, great people they are today without him! Thank you George for all you do!
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