Daniel and David; determination, strength and resilience

Senior Daniel Sefcik finds motivation to play sports and give his all though his little brother, David.

courtesy photo

Senior Daniel Sefcik finds motivation to play sports and give his all though his little brother, David.

Jessica Parrott, Sports Editior

On the field, he’s a monster. He seems unbreakable, unstoppable and altogether powerful. Senior running back Daniel Sefcik is one of the most intimidating players on the field on Friday nights, but there is an inspiration behind his talent that many don’t know about.

It’s a journey that began in second grade.

“All of my friends had signed up for ASA,” Sefcik said. “I wanted to play so bad and I begged my parents and luckily they said yes.”

At that young age, he loved football as much as he does now. And his parents began to realize that he had true talent.

“We realized in the first year he played he understood intricate parts of the game more than anyone else on the field,” Sefcik’s mom Erin Sefcik said. “We learned that his passion was hard hitting, when running the ball or playing defense. After each of his big hits, his teammates and parents starting saying that the player had been “Sefcik’d”, referring to how hard he hit. His early nick name was Rice Crispies – Snap, crackle, POP.”

Sefcik is a leader on the field among his peers but other than that, he’s a leader at home where he is the oldest of four boys.

“Being an older brother has taught me that the boys will look up to me and will do what I do,” Daniel said. “They will want to do what I do, good and bad so I have a big responsibility and I have to use it to my advantage to have a positive impact on not only my brothers but others as well.”

His mother agrees that he is a true example for her younger sons.

“Daniel is seen as a tough guy to his brothers and respected by his peers,” Erin said. “His brothers are learning from Daniel how to be strong and how to fight through adversity.”

Along with being naturally inclined to want to set a good example and always help and support his brothers, Daniel feels a special connection to his 7-year-old brother David who is disabled.

“David has charge syndrome which is an acronym for a bunch of different disabilities,” Daniel said. “He is legally blind and deaf and he had a heart deformation I believe and a cleft palate.”

Having a brother with disabilities impacts Daniel’s view of life.

“My brother is a blessing in disguise,” Daniel said. “With all of his pain and lack of ability he’s taught me to be happy for no reason because that kid wakes up every morning and he’s just happy and has no reason to be happy. He is happy even though he is in so much pain. He’s been through so much and always finds a way to smile.I used to write his initials on my wrists every Friday to remind myself why I play the game and how I should play the game. He definitely gives me motivation.”

Sefcik’s mother sees the inspiration that David is to Daniel and the rest of the family.

“Daniel is probably best to describe the inspiration David has been to him,” Erin said. “Daniel’s brother David is probably the toughest, most positive person we know. I believe Daniel gets his toughness from the realization that David has a lot of things to complain about, but fights everyday and remains happy and positive through it all.”

His brother’s good attitude at such a young age has made Daniel realize the importance of being positive. It’s also provides an inspiration to him in football.

“I can also tell you that the first time we realized the impact David had on Daniel was early in his high school career,” Erin said. “People may not know this but Daniel often tapes his wrists and writes the initials of the person he is playing for. In his sophomore year the initials on the wrists were DS, for David Sefcik. The coaches invited David on the field after one of the games and there was not a dry eye on the field.”

Along with playing for his little brother, Daniel plays for others who are close to him. He doesn’t do it to look good or to make people feel sorry for him, he does it for himself.

“Our family has a close friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a year ago,” Erin said. “We recently noticed in a picture in the newspaper the initials SD on his wrists. When asked what they stood for, Daniel asked, “Why does it matter?” and would not divulge who or what it meant. As his parents, we know, it stands for Sam De la Garrigue, our close friend diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, who has just been told he is now free of cancer after battling for over a year for his life.  Sam got to come to his first game last week on senior night.”

Daniel Sefcik is a strong player and a strong person. He has a brother who inspires him and who he is able to inspire as well.

“Daniel gives 110 percent on the field and at practice,” Erin said. “He is a leader by example on the field and is learning how to be this same type “leader by example” off the field. He is also always willing to help others and does his best to stay focused and positive.”