When Brock Teichert became the primary home caregiver for his father – who had suffered a paralyzing stroke in early July – he was only one week into the start of his senior football campaign at Cokeville High School (Wyo.).
Photos: Teichert's award presentation
His father, David, who died shortly after the end of the football season, was unable to speak and could only partially move his left side.
“I remember the first night he came home,” said Teichert, one of 13 children. “I was pretty discouraged that night. But the sun came up the next day and I re-evaluated.”
Teichert is being honored by USA TODAY High School Sports and the Army National Guard with the Inspiration Award presented to 15 student-athletes across the nation who go above and beyond.
The versatile 5-foot-10, 160-pounder helped the Panthers’ football team win their last 10 games (following an opening loss) and capture their 21st Class 1A state championship. Playing multiple positions, he averaged 6.5 tackles, with eight sacks and four tackles for losses.
“His teammates would see what he was doing at home and yet he was at practice every day,” football coach Todd Dayton said. “He was an inspiration to our football team, but also to the whole community.”
He made an even greater impact in wrestling.
Teichert won his third Class 2A state title, upholding the family tradition of leading the state with 22 career championships. He had a 46-3 record this year and finished his career with a 166-48 mark. He won 138 pounds as a sophomore, 152 as a junior and 170 as a senior.
He actually wrestled at 160 as a senior, but for the tournament he sacrificed to take on the best 170-pounders.
Wrestling coach Martin Linford said, “This year he could have been our 152-pounder, but he helped us score as many points as possible in the state tourney (the Panthers finished second) by bumping up to 170. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to be a good teammate.”
Teichert conceded, “I was a little bit in jeopardy because I had wrestled the best competition at 160 and felt if I wrestled my best (at 170) whether I won or lost it would be OK. I felt a little bit of pressure, but I like to turn the pressure into excitement.”
Teichert’s drive to give back wasn’t limited to his own household:
*As student body president he has helped with community cleanup projects, Make-A-Wish and cystic fibrosis fundraisers.
*Through National Honor Society he has assisted with blood drives.
*Though his church he has helped put together boxes for humanitarian relief, as well as assisting senior citizens and widows.
*This summer he will begin a two-year mission for the Mormon Church in Guadalajara, Mexico.
When he returns he will attend the University of Wyoming on the Daniel Scholarship (he has a 3.86 GPA) and study to be an orthopedic surgeon.
Somewhere down the road he also may dabble in coaching.
He related, “This year we had a freshman who was deaf. I learned a little bit of sign language and built a friendship with him. Seniors did it for me. As I got older I started picking out freshmen and helping them out.”
Teichert, known for helping others in his hometown, will never forget how the community returned the favor during his toughest days of caring for his dying father.
“One thing that was awesome,” Teichert said, “was that between the community and our church, everybody helped.”