hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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October 11, 2012

A refreshing attitude in high school football

(Continued)

“He treats me like just another player on the team and that’s how I take it,’’ the younger Yameen said of his father.

What’s really refreshing is that as much as the fathers and sons are committed to the game they love, they realize what’s most important about school — the books and the classroom. Connor Bradley and Bill Yameen finished their freshman year near the top of their class academically. And if they ever waver from their studies, their moms are there to offer an important reminder.

“If you ask their mothers, that is the biggest thing ... academics always comes first for them,’’ the elder Bradley said.

The Whittier coaches and their sons are keeping their sport in perspective, something that too often fails to happen around youth and even high school sports.

Football is part of a formula that brings balance to their lives, along with academics and a solid family structure.

The elder Yameen admitted that he sometimes drives the long way home after practice so he and his son can talk a bit more football.

“But once we walk up the steps and into the front door at home, it stops,’’ he said.

So in this year of football success in Haverhill, two men and their sons are demonstrating that wins and losses aren’t everything, but that family values and the personal growth of players are what truly counts.

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