By MARINA WISE-HERRING
Special to the PRESS
Talk about good luck– it’s not every day that the University of Texas’ former head football coach and his ex-quarterback/son come to visit your local high school. Longhorn royalty Fred Akres and his son, Danny, paid a quick visit to Port Isabel High School’s athletes and coaches last week. Lucky enough for the Tarpons, the pair happened to see the school while they were driving to South Padre Island. Their curiosity landed them right in the doorway of PIHS Head Football Coach Monty Stumbaugh’s office, where the Akres’ arranged their presentation. The following day, Danny Akres preached to his Tarpon audience about the connection between an athlete’s mentality and their performance while his father chimed in with additional comments from time to time.
Danny Akres spent an hour giving his spiel, and the reactions from the crowd were priceless. He challenged his listeners to expand their mental capability by engaging them in mind-rattling activities and telling relatable stories. Basically, he encouraged the Tarpon athletic department to think in a different way to enhance their results in both sports and in life in general. While both students and coaches were focused on the message of Danny Akres and his father, it was evident that everybody still had a blast.
“This was fun,” said Fred Akres.
Before their stint in Port Isabel, the Akres’ had the experience of working with athletic powerhouses such as the Seattle Seahawks, Washington State Cougars, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the New York Yankees under their belts. Both father and son have a passion to help people “think in ideals,” and that’s just what they do in each of their sessions. They urge others to think about why they choose to do things and to surround themselves with people who will help build character, not destroy it.
“Have friends that don’t just tolerate you,” said Danny Akres. “But celebrate you.”
All in all, Danny and Fred Akres have learned a lot during their post-football career, and have taught people a great deal, as well. PIHS was just fortunate enough to have gotten to witness their eye-opening session first-hand.
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