June 13, 2012

Father's Day tribute to Mark Impagliazzo

Guest Sports Columnists

Editorís Note: June is always a big month around high schools. There is graduation and the end of the scholastic careers for seniors, plus Fatherís Day. During previous Junes, Tom Williams has turned over his column to Stephanie Gaitley, Matt Woolley, Jeff Boyd, Allison Rinck, Erik Geisinger, Doug Colman, Allie Moreland, Tracey LeFever, the Degenhardt sisters, Chelsea Bruno, Danielle McNally, Dave & Casey Beyel and Shaune McLaughlin, among others, to write about their fathers.

This week, three Ocean City High School graduates Ė Lea, Ryan and Marc Impagliazzo Ė write their separate feelings about their father, Mark, who was an OCHS athlete himself. Lea played field hockey in high school, attended Villanova University and studied chemical engineering. She is now working for Exelon Corporation at the Oyster Creek Power Plant. Ryan was an outstanding OCHS football player now attending Rowan, where injuries have kept him off the field. Marc was a football and lacrosse star at OCHS, now playing football at Ursinus.

When offered to write a Fatherís Day column dedicated to my dad, I couldnít have been happier. What better way to show my dad how much I appreciate his presence in my life. After all, how many Nike black, navy and red shirts can one dad get without dubbing his fatherís day receptions as "uniquely generic" anyway?
As my fatherís only daughter (and also his first child) I feel that Iíve had quite a one in a not-so-many experience with my dad. My dad has held a strict oversight role in my life for as long as I can remember. And, with details aside, it hasnít always been a smooth, painless ride. But I can honestly say I wouldnít change one minute of any of it.
My father has demonstrated excellence in both leading by example, as well as allowing me to learn "the hard way" more than a number of times. In my recent years with him, he has placed an unmatched confidence in my ability to reason through the important decisions Iíve had to make in my life and I canít even begin to adequately articulate the appreciation I have for that.
After the almost 24 years of life Iíve spent in this world, I want my dad to know what a true role model he has become in my mind. Iíve learned what he has overcome in his life and still have the utmost respect for the level of success he has attained in every aspect I can think of. But what may be most significant in my mind, as a daughter, is the standard that heís set for me in looking for the one Iíll spend the rest of my life with.
I can only hope that he will be half the man my father is to both me and my future family. I love you, Dad. Happy Fatherís Day. ĖLea Impagliazzo

It is hard to find words that express how I feel about my dad. All I know is I couldnít ask for a better dad.
Ever since I was a kid, my dad has always been there for Marc, Lea and me. Through love and, when necessary, tough love, my dad has always been there for us throughout the years. I feel that I get my work ethic from my dad and, looking back on it now that Iím older, I admire the fact that at a point he worked three jobs to support our family. Now that we are older, our relationship has changed, as is natural in life.
When I need some advice, my dad is there to give it and supports me no matter what I choose to do in life. I feel like my dad is one of the few important people in my life that I know I can count on for anything. If I have a problem at three oíclock in the morning, I know my dad will wake up and do anything he can to help me.
Although I know we donít say it all that often because we are grown men, I love my father. I honestly couldnít ask for a better dad. ĖRyan Impagliazzo

My dad has always been someone I could look up to for guidance and support. Not only was he my father, he was my coach since I was a young boy. He has been there every step of the way for me, whether it is on the field or off.
Off the field, he has been my support figure in every way possible. He has pushed me in my studies, taught me life lessons and kept me on the right path to lead me to success. On the field, my dad becomes an entirely different figure in my life. He is my coach, mentor and leader. Instead of a gentle father, he becomes the driving force which has led to my success on the field. Although tough sometimes, he was the leader I needed to be successful.
My dad is the perfect combination of a loving father who also has disciplined me and pushed me to be successful. Without him teaching and guiding me, I do not know where I would be today. He has been there every step of the way and, looking back, I cannot thank my dad enough for all that he has done for me and our family.
I can only hope that one day I grow up to be like my dad. ĖMarc Impagliazzo

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