DETERMINED: The Reese family: Driven by faith, fitness and academics
A few steps away from where two kids play NBA2K on the big screen, you will find a corner room that may just well define this family.
Behind the door of that room, you will find a fitness center containing a small wrestling mat, weightlifting benches, a treadmill and numerous other pieces of fitness equipment.
This is in the home of The Reese Family on Deerfield Lane off of Route 150 between Lock Haven and Woolrich.
The close family of nine consists of parents Bob and Jacquie, and kids, Brady, Chad, Erin, Tara, Seth, Megan and Jeremy.
A family that is diverse in the sports that they choose to compete in but solidified by a philosophy that they attribute to Bob.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
A family also solidified by their faith in God.
They say they are motivated by knowing they are really playing for the Lord and that they know He is in control and through Him they can accomplish all goals. There have been many challenges for this group, which is quite a natural occurrence for a family of this size.
Each one has their own interests when it comes to sports. However, collectively, they are undoubtedly motivated by a poster and quote hanging on a wall in the fitness room of the home.
The quote states, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” It is clear that the members of this family have internalized that quote. Unlike many families that hold dear to a sport or two, this family has seen many sports at least for a little while at some point.
Bob Reese, who is owner of Pine Creek Veterinary Associates and his wife Jacquie are graduates of the former Lock Haven High School in the mid-1980s.
Bob spent time as a wrestler and football player during his high school days while Jacquie was a runner on the track team. Runner. Remember that word. Running is very important to this family. While the family participates in many sports, running is one of the areas where they find the most common ground.
The other is weightlifting. In fact, the kids credit their parent’s early morning runs, hikes, bike rides and lifting for the family’s interest in fitness.
Brady, the oldest of the kids is now a Penn State University graduate and will begin a Master’s program in Hospital Administration at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston very soon. While in high school, he ran cross-country and track after having played some basketball and football during his junior high years.
Brady’s brother Chad was a successful member of the Central Mountain wrestling program.
Prior to his graduation in 2014, he was on three district championship teams and was an individual district champion his senior year while also finishing as a regional runner-up and stepping onto the podium at states in 8th place. Chad, a neuroscience/pre-med major is now a 174-pounder in the Bucknell University program and says his goal is to achieve All-American status while also improving his team’s standing in the league.
Erin, also a neuroscience/pre-med major is currently attending Susquehanna University where she is competing in track, cross country, and indoor track for the Crusaders. This past season, her first at Susquehanna after her graduation from Central Mountain in 2016, she placed 2nd in the 10K and 8th in the 5K at the Landmark Conference Championships. Already she holds the 3rd best 5000-meter time in Landmark history.
Not too shabby for a freshmen who about a year prior had been strongly considering playing college soccer, a sport she’d enjoyed playing throughout her high school days at CM. She now runs.
Remember that word?
Erin does it…a lot and often.
Erin’s oldest sister Tara will be a senior this year at CM. She will be a key member of the Lady Wildcat Soccer team. She looks forward to continuing to progress in all aspects of her game and welcomes the opportunity to provide leadership to her teammates. While Tara did run competitively on the track team during her freshmen year, she finds the most enjoyment and success on the soccer field. A place where she looks forward to spending many more years as she has made her decision to pursue a continuation of soccer while attending Lycoming College after her scholastic days are complete.
Seth, a 10th grader at Central Mountain was a freshmen starter on last year’s Wildcat varsity wrestling team. Much of his emphasis is directed toward continuing his progress on the mat. However, while he played football during his 8th and 9th grade years, he plans to play soccer for coach Jeff Brinker this season. This is another example that the members of this family are willing to try things and adjust as they go along.
Megan will be an 8th grader at Central Mountain Middle School this fall. She has participated in basketball since 4th grade but says that this year she will be focusing on soccer and track. Meghann is comfortable in stating that her goal is to simply continue to progress.
The youngest of the group is Jeremy. Jeremy will enter 5th grade at Woodward Elementary and is very much in the exploratory stage for an athlete and rightfully so.
Jeremy has played basketball for the past several years. It is very evident in listening to him that he has a great passion for baseball, which he played in the Woolrich Little League this past season and was selected to their all-star team.
Let’s see. nine family members … seven kids … wrestling, track, cross-country, soccer, basketball, football, and baseball.
Wow. How can one family do all of it?
Jacquie says that “we try to hit as many events as possible” but she admits that ultimately the collective help that they get from numerous people in the community including her mother is what enables it all to work out.
So what is the sport that they can all agree upon? That’s a challenge as well. However, they all admit that they find a lot of common ground when it comes to running and weightlifting.
Something they all do to at least some degree. Almost naturally I expected that this would be a competitive group of kids. To my surprise, they deny any competitiveness with one another athletically.
This they say can be attributed to the fact that they are not all competing in the same sports. So, diversity does have an advantage for sure. The kids did state that they each compete internally. They strive to become faster, stronger, and better against their own standards.
Additionally, Jackie added the kids are “very competitive academically.” Sounds like a family that has their priorities in order.
Similarities and differences are evident.
What is also evident is drive… a drive to be the best. However, it is the best that each one can be individually. Seemingly, no pressure applied by other members of the family.
They are there to support.
Yes. Brady wants to graduate first in his master’s program.
Chad as stated “to be an All-American.”
Erin, “break the Landmark Conference 10K record.” Tara, “be a soccer captain and win districts.” Seth wants to be a district champ and state qualifier in wrestling. Megan wants to continue to get better.
Finally, Jeremy “go farther in baseball all-stars next year.”
The goals are as numerous as the sports played but one thing is for certain; this family will continue to work and progress.
They will run.
They will lift.
And they will support one another as best they can. My bet is that because they readily admit that there is not much that is natural for them athletically, the hard work they put in because of it will result in many more Reese news in the years to come. News that is sure to come from multiple sports.