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Mona Shores teaching players valuable life lessons off of the field

Posted at 11:03 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-07 23:03:34-04

NORTON SHORES, Mich. -- Every Sunday, senior linemen from the Mona Shores football team get together and learn different life skills. Mona Shores has been one of the best programs on the field over the past few seasons, and now they're preparing their players off of the field as well.

"These are every day life skills I didn't know how to do," Sailor senior Nolan Kasher said. "Now that I've had to do them, it'll help in the long run."

The Sailors have learned everything from how to change a car tire to dinner etiquette, and now, dressing appropriately and how to tie a tie.

"The last two or three years, I've had to have other people tie my knots and tie my ties," laughed senior guard Derek Pennell. "Now, I know how to check tire pressure, and if I'm ever in a sticky situation, I have a way out of it."

"I knew how to dress nice and everything, but I didn't know how to tie my tie," Kasher admitted. "My dad used to always tie it and I'd just put it on, so it's very helpful for me to know how to do it myself so I can do it in the future."

The idea came from defensive line coach Kyle Brott and offensive line coach Brian Sikkenga as a way to spend more time with the players while also teaching them valuable lessons.

"We wanted to spend more time with the guys, not just football stuff but learning how to love on each other type of thing," Sikkenga said. "We came up with this, and (Brott) kind of came up with the idea, we put ideas together on paper and ran with it."

"It's how to be a gentleman," Brott added. "Not that they don't learn it at home or anything, but, selfishly, we'd like to hang out with them more. So we had to come up with something, so we came up with this."

The get-togethers are currently reserved for senior lineman due to size of the coaches' homes, but it's in the talks to expand next season.

"It's only lineman," Sikkenga said. "We would really like to involve the skills, and that might be a whole senior thing next year. We love those guys, too, but we wanted to start out small to handle it."

"There's always the stigma, especially for linemen," left tackle Blake Bustard said. "We're just big, smelly people who don't know how to dress well. So it's very helpful to have these coaches inform us on this stuff."

"Doing this, we're going to be more successful as young adults in the future," Logan Hekkema said.

"No other coach has done this and taught life skills like this before," Kasher continued. "So having that opportunity to learn from them will help me in the long run, and I'm truly thankful for that."

"People ask us, 'Hey, is your team good this year?' And it's like, 'I don't know. I'll let you know in 20 years when they have wives and families and kids, etc.,'" said Brott.