STEWART, Ohio - The first recipient of the Lamarr Wilder Memorial Scholarship at Federal Hocking High School went to 2014 graduate Peyton Seel.
Bob Springer, 71, a former football coach at Federal Hocking and author of a new book, "Go Ahead and Break Your Child's Heart," presented the $1,000 college scholarship to Seel, a multi-sport athlete for the Lancers who is headed to Ohio Northern University to play football.
All proceeds from the sale of Springer's book were donated to the school and were used to create the scholarship fund.
Photo courtesy of Sarah Hawley, Athens Messenger
Bob Springer, left, congratulates Peyton Seel, the $1,000 recipient of the first Lamarr Wilder Memorial Scholarship at Federal Hocking High School.
"I cannot think of a better way to have spent my first $1,000 from book sales," said Springer. "I had so many fun and rewarding times at Federal Hocking. Yes, I am very proud of this fine school and the efforts it puts forth to help students."
Springer led Federal Hocking to a share of the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division title in 2005 as the head football coach.
He was also an assistant coach for the Lancers from 2007-2009. Springer played football at Marietta College, and also coached at Caldwell, Marietta and Parkersburg South.
But even after retirement, he couldn't stop thinking about kids and parents - "about their struggles, successes and failures. So like most who pick up a pen and write, I had a message to share," said Springer.
His book offers tips for parents to help their children succeed. "This book is designed to provide parents and leaders of student-athletes with a considerable advantage as they manage their child's life in the middle school and high school eras," said Springer.
He maintains "that far too many parents miss the target with their disciplinary process. Most parents get an 'A' at managing their athlete, but far too many try to be their child's friend and/or are disruptive to coaches, teachers and the school administration."
Nevertheless, in "Lessons Learned," the closing fiction section in the book, Springer makes the salient point that parents will learn that "raising a child can be rewarding and successful. Yes, inside every good child is a great child!"
Wilder was a Federal Hocking football player who was stabbed to death at a high school graduation party in 2010. "He was a wonderful young man; I loved his smile," said Springer
Springer dedicated his book to Wilder, "because he did not have a fair chance in life. His behavior was permitted to deteriorate, as it was unchecked by those in charge.
"The school gave me the opportunity to speak to the entire student body about Lamarr's life: shortcomings, strengths and accomplishments. It was sure quiet in the auditorium as I spoke ... so many kids remembered his situation."