By Bob Montgomery – Bristol Press Correspondent
BRISTOL – John Phelan, a Bristol Eastern High School graduate who went to college and then Afghanistan as a member of Second Platoon, Co. C, 1-102nd Infantry, recently addressed school leaders, Bristol Sports Hall of Fame (BSHOF) directors and local high school athletic leaders at Nuchie’s during the BSHOF’s Leadership Council Breakfast.
The Leadership Council, headed by Bristol attorney Mark Ziogas, a Bristol Sports Hall of Fame director, is comprised of athletic leaders from Bristol’s three high schools.
John, who had returned from Afghanistan and completed Ranger School this year, left a special message.
“His talk challenged them (the students) to be remembered and to leave a legacy, not just playing on the field, but everywhere they went and with everyone they touched,” said Dave Mills, president of the BSHOF.
Here are excerpts from John’s presentation:
“Take what you’ve learned through athletics from those who have come before you, and decide how you are going to make a difference to those who will come after you. Whatever paths you chose, you will be successful. But walk the path.
“And remember this, in this community, once you put that jersey or uniform on, you wear it for life. On the front it says Bristol, its says Eastern, it says Central, it says St. Paul. On the back side is your name. Regardless of where you are or what you are doing, represent yourself, your family, your school, and your community with pride.
“As leaders, if you remember only that … the tradition will live on, a legacy will be left, and you will make a difference to others. Accept my challenge young leaders, I have faith in you.”
In adding my two cents to the above, I know Mills, Ziogas and all the other adults who were there to hear John speak, see a young man who has done just that after being a high school leader himself just eight years ago.
A well-done to John Phelan, an outstanding leader and great role model to those at Bristol’s three high schools.