For Kevin Woodard, watching his daughter compete at such a high level at every sport she tries offers its own challenges. Among those are understanding the concerns of parents whose kids may lose playing time to his daughter even if she isn’t practicing full-time with the team.
“It’s great but it’s hard,” he said. “It’s been an adjustment for us to realize what it’s like on the other side of the fence. Before Haley decided to quit soccer, we had to ask, ‘Is it fair to those other parents whose kids Haley may start over even though they’ve been at practice every day when she’s been splitting time with track?’ No matter what, there can be some issues.”
While those questions are gone with Haley’s decision to focus solely on track, she’s still keeping her father busy. She competes in basketball tournaments year-round and for a time did the same with soccer. There is a steady stream of college letters, of which Kevin Woodard said his daughter has received about 20 between soccer, basketball and track, with coaches from all sports jockeying to impact the decision Haley and her family will face when it’s time for college.
Still, it was one decision that didn’t take Kevin Woodard long at all to make.
“She was never not going to get the car,” he said. “I think I heard that story from someone else and thought it was a good idea. The girls pretty much always get what they want.”
Not that Haley begrudges her father’s white lie. She admits she needed the motivation, and is glad she made the decision to stick with track, even as she struggles to digest the consequences, the vast majority of which have been stunningly good.
“It’s still surreal to me,” she said. “I’ve never experienced anything like winning a state title before, and I didn’t even realize at the time it was such a big deal.”
Perhaps she’ll have a better idea by Saturday, when she figures to add more gold to her vault.
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