My mentor, Jack O'Brien overseeing my coaching.

My mentor, Jack O’Brien overseeing my coaching.

In the hearts and minds of each child is the potential for greatness.  With the right guidance and influence even children brought up in the most dire of circumstances can accomplish amazing things.

Parents are crucial influencers, but teachers and coaches expand that perspective – building relationships, and a way of interacting, that will serve them well throughout their lives.  The kids get to be led, they get to take direction, they get a chance to ask for more responsibility, they get to be counted on by classmates and teammates, and all of that will set the foundation for being a championship citizen.

In a few short weeks some of these future championship citizens will be headed to Missouri to be a champion in their sport – boxing. Evan Wrazidlo, Jesse Walters, and Simon Walters are preparing for the 2016 Ringside World Championships.  The tournament marks their first chance at being world champions.  The team will be accompanied by Coach Zach “Jungle Boy” Walters of Jungle Boy Boxing Gym.

It’s been 5 years since I’ve passed the Horton’s Gym, now the Jungle Boy Boxing Gym, down to Zach Walters, one of my boxing students, and I’m happy to see the success of the gym and its young boxers –  building the skills to be worthy of participating in this type of tournament.

I think it’s important to invest in the future of kids in our community.  As a mentor we shape athletic ability but also confidence and responsibility – and that is what Zach is passing down to these boys.

The trip to a worldwide tournament is expensive at over $2000, but worth it.  The experience will give these young local boys a new perspective of our country and a chance to meet people from all over our world.  You never come back from a journey the same person.

My own mentor, Jack O’Brien, was a friend, confidant, and spiritual council – it is only fitting, that in his memory, I’m thrilled to support these young boxers in their fight to be champions by donating to their GoFundMe page. If you can, I hope you’ll support them too.  Learn more about their trip, and follow their progress on

Help them get there by donating here: