My baby brother is my angel. He's a senior at Hempfield Area High School, and he'll be 18 at the end of November.
I heatedly moved out of the house that was built around me as a baby the day I graduated high school due to complications from my parents divorcing. I moved in with dad, and Dougie stayed with mom. It's been that way ever since, and though we're about 5 minutes away from each other, with our schedules we're lucky if we see each other twice a week.
And every week the person he continues to grow into never ceases to amaze me. Dougie was always a special kid, he was memorizing books by the time he was two. A stranger would have thought he was actually reading, because he knew what words were on what pages.When Disney released "Beauty and the Beast" he had the prologue memorized. You know the scene, where you first see the castle?
His memorization skills remain uncanny today, and his mental math abilities are reminiscent of "Rainman." I believe he was 10 when he reached third degree black belt in the Tang Soo Do discipline. I always say he's good at anything he wants to be good at.
Today he's a first-team All-Conference defensive lineman, and offensive left tackle for the Spartans, as well as a co-captain. He's also the starting heavyweight on the wrestling team. He had no experience in either sport previous to high school. I suppose his dainty 6'1" 280 pound frame tells the story: he was made to crush people. Haha. Our mom says that he's a "refrigerator with a head."
He basically consumes any doorway he passes through. He has a heart of gold, though. He never hangs up without saying he loves me, and will still give me a kiss in front of his jock friends.
Now that I'm done gushing, my main point for blogging this was to share some recognition my baby bro's been getting, and he most certainly deserves it. He's the essence of sportsmanship in my opinion, but of course I'm a little bias.
Both appeared in the print version of the Tribune-Review. The top was from the August 30, 2008 edition and appeared on the front of the Sports page. The bottom was from an issue last season, I'm not sure of the date.
This currently appears on TribLive. Do not make him angry. He benches 345 pounds and squats 460.
Good luck this season, Dougie! I love you.