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ADs by day, dads by night

Zdanowksi, Hollern make time to watch sons play
Posted at 11:03 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 23:03:17-05
ADs by day, dads by night

High school athletic directors are busy people.

"During the course of the 25 years, there have been a lot of conflicts," Wyoming Athletic Director Ted Hollern said, referring to attempts to watch his own children play sports. "And the conflicts are always gut-wrenching to me because I am so conflicted."

Ted has been with Wyoming Public Schools for two and a half decades.

During that time he has had five kids play sports at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, just as he did.

His youngest son, Nick, is now a senior.

Brian Zdanowski is the athletic director at Greenville High School; his son Travis is a senior at West Catholic.

"I only have one child," Brian said. "So it even puts that much more emphasis on that."

It can be tough to host a varsity football game on a Friday night while your son is playing another game an hour or more away, but Ted and Brian have made it work to be able to watch their kids play.

"I get everything set up during the day like I normally would, and just depending on where Travis is at, I leave accordingly just so I can get there in time," Brian said about how he handles a Friday with a Greenville home football game. "Luckily, I've got great people that work with me. Once everything is set, I kind of just need to get out of their way."

This fall, technology has helped these athletic directors be in two places at once.

"When Nick was playing, I was on my phone watching Wyoming play," Ted said. "So at one time, I'm watching up in the stands Wyoming play, then I'm also watching Nick play his game."

And their sons certainly appreciate having Dad in the stands on Friday nights.

"It is awesome because I grew up around sports in Greenville and it was really special to be able to have him," Travis Zdanowski said. "He was going to find a way to make it work, but we were a little concerned that he might only be here for a half or whatever. But I love having my parents at the game. It's really nice."

"I know how strong-willed my dad is and how determined he is and how he is so persevering in everything he does, so it was never a doubt," Nick Hollern said. "Even when I was little and going to my brother's games, I knew my dad was going to be there, always rooting us on."

"So very thankful for him."

Ted and Brian are grateful for the districts in which they work and the people they work with.

"They have been so kind," Ted said about Wyoming Public Schools. "It is family first and then your work second. It always has been that way, and a lot of people have pitched in to help me out through this whole process."

"A big part of Greenville is, administratively, they really want you to worry about your family first and kind of take care of your family," Brian said. "So that was important to me. I had the backing of administration here, and I wouldn't have it any other way."