Remarks for Hunt Silcock
By David Hudgell, Comets '89 Blue Soccer Coach
January 3, 2003
St. Rita Catholic Church
MY NAME IS DAVID HUDGELL AND I COACH FOR THE COMETS SOCCER CLUB, I AM AND ALWAYS WILL BE HUNT’S SELECT SOCCER COACH. I HAVE KNOWN HUNT SILCOCK SINCE HE WAS EIGHT JUST TURNING NINE; I MET HIM AND HIS BROTHER JAMES AT A SOCCER CAMP AT JESUIT. THAT YEAR JAMES CAME TO PLAY FOR MY COMETS 88 TEAM AND THE FOLLOWING YEAR HUNT CAME TO PLAY FOR MY 89 TEAM. HE HAS PLAYED FOR THE COMETS 89 FOR THE PAST THREE AND A HALF YEARS
AS WELL AS COACHING HUNT, I HAVE THE CHANCE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH HIM AWAY FROM THE FIELD, THIS WILL COME AS NO SURPRISE TO THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW US BOTH, WE WERE STILL DOING SOCCER RELATED ACTIVATES, WATCHING SOCCER GAMES, PARTICULARLY ENGLAND AND MANCHESTER UNITED, TRAVELING TO PRACTICE FIELDS, AND DOING ONE ON ONE PRACTICE.
FROM THESE OCCASIONS I KNOW TWO THINGS ABOUT HUNT; HE TRULY LOVED HIS FAMILY AND HE LOVED THE SPORT OF SOCCER.
AS A SOCCER PLAYER HE IS COURAGEOUS, TENACIOUS AND TALENTED. HE HAS THAT SPECIAL PASSION FOR THE SPORT THAT A COACH WANTS ALL OF HIS PLAYERS TO HAVE. HE WAS ALSO DETERMINED TO IMPROVE AND WOULD PRACTICE WITH EVERYTHING HE COULD GIVE. IF I SHOWED HIM SOMETHING THAT HE COULD NOT DO HE WOULD GET UPSET. BUT HE WOULD BE DETERMINED AND EVENTUALLY DO IT. NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TOOK HE WOULD ALWAYS COME UP AND SAY “DAVID I CAN DO IT NOW’.
IN RECENT WEEKS TWO EVENTS SUMMED HIM UP AS A PLAYER AND AS A MEMBER OF OUR TEAM. IN OUR LAST COMPETITIVE GAME IN A THANKSGIVING TOURNAMENT WE WERE IN A SEMI FINAL GAME AGAINST A TEAM FROM MEMPHIS. HUNT WAS MATCHED UP AGAINST MUCH BIGGER PLAYERS, HE USUALLY WAS, BUT HE HAD A GREAT GAME AND HE PLAYED SO WELL THAT IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO TAKE HIM OUT EVEN TO GIVE HIM A REST. HIS ENERGY AND TALENT PROVIDED THE TEAM WITH A BIG LIFT THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE GAME. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT AS HE MATURED HE HAD A BIG FUTURE AS A SOCCER PLAYER AHEAD OF HIM.
IN ANOTHER RECENT GAME, HUNT WAS OUT OF THE GAME AS WE TOOK A 2- 0 LEAD IN AN IMPORTANT GAME. HE WAS SITTING NEXT TO ME HE JUMPED UP AND HUGGED ME AND I RUBBED HIM ON THE HEAD. IT WAS A SPECIAL MOMENT. HE WAS ALWAYS A GREAT CHEERLEADER AND ENCOURAGER FOR US ALL.
IF HE WAS ON THE SIDELINES, FUNNILY ENOUGH HE ALWAYS SEEMED TO FIND A WAY TO BE NEXT TO ME IF HE WAS NOT PLAYING. I THINK HE THOUGHT THAT I MIGHT FORGET ABOUT HIM BUT THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE. HE DID NOT HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING, JUST THE LOOK IN HIS EYES WAS SAYING ‘PUT ME IN COACH”
HE ALWAYS KNEW THE RIGHT THING TO SAY WIN OR LOSE, HE WOULD BE POSITIVE TO PLAYERS NOT PLAYING WELL AND THE FIRST TO ADMIT IT IF HE WAS NOT PLAYING WELL.
AS A PERSON HE IS FUNNY, ENGAGING, COMPASSIONATE, KIND AND LOVEABLE. HE HAS A SPIRIT AND A GLOW THAT TOUCHES ALL WHO COME INTO CONTACT WITH HIM. IF WE ALL TAKE A LITTLE OF HIS SPIRIT AND HEART INTO OUR LIVES AND ALL THAT WE DO, OUR LIVES WILL BE RICHER AND MORE COMPLETE. . AS A COACH THAT SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS BE WITH ME, AS A TEAMMATE HE WILL ALWAYS BE WITH THE COMETS 89 AND THE WHOLE CLUB.
AFTER THE NEWS ABOUT HUNT BECAME PUBLIC, ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO CALL ME WAS THE CAPTAIN OF MY U17 TEAM. I HAVE SINCE LEARNT THAT TEAM CALLED HUNT “RUDY” FROM THE MOVIE BECAUSE THAT IS HOW HE PLAYED WITH THEM. HUNT IS A HARD WORKER BUT UNLIKE RUDY HE HAS AN AWFUL LOT OF TALENT TO GO WITH IT.
HUNT IS OUR FRIEND
HUNT IS OUR TEAMMATE
HUNT IS OUR SPIRIT
HUNT IS OUR INSPIRATION
LORD GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO BE WISE AND STRONG, AS HUNT IS WISE BEYOND HIS YEARS AND STRONG BEYOND HIS PHYSICAL SIZE
THE COMETS 89 TEAM ARE WEARING # 3 on THE SLEEVE OF THEIR SWEATS. HUNT ALWAYS WORE HIS HEART ON HIS SLEEVE. MY NUMBER IS CLOSE TO MY HEART WHERE HUNT WILL BE.
FOR AN ATHLETE ONE OF THE GREATEST HONORS IS TO HAVE YOUR JERSEY RETIRED. NOBODY WILL WEAR #3 FOR COMETS 89 AGAIN. THE JERSEY IS RETIRED I AM GOING TO ASK ALL OF THE PLAYERS ON MY TEAMS WHO WEAR #3 TO CHANGE #S AS A TRIBUTE TO HIM APART FROM JAMES WHO WILL WEAR THE SHIRT IN HONOR OF HUNT.
HUNT, WE ALL LOVE YOU, REST IN PEACE BUT KEEP PLAYING THE BEAUTIFUL GAME.
Remarks for Hunt Silcock ‘08 Service
by Arnold E. Holtberg, Headmaster St. Mark's School of Texas
January 3, 2003
St. Rita Catholic Church
To speak to you today about Hunt is both easy and challenging. Easy because there is so much to say. And challenging because of the pain I feel. Julie, Jim, James: all members of your family. We have and will shed tears of sadness and loss. What a blow this is! How inexplicable and unfair. Yet, we also shed tears of joy for the good memories – great plays made, witty jokes quipped, wry smiles; friendship and love; for all those qualities that made Hunt a very special young man.
Hunt loved this life, and so should we. We remember his example of a life lived too short, but absolutely fully. He embraced every opportunity and wanted more. My children have often groaned and rolled their eyes over some of my sayings, sayings which they might term “corny.” I suspect my students feel the same way. But let me try a couple:
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog, or
It’s not how long you live, it’s how.
Hunt brought real meaning to these aphorisms. Real meaning. Intelligent, caring, positive, buoyant; he loved athletics; he enjoyed people to his core. He was never afraid to give full measure of himself, and he always fought the good fight. Somehow, every day, he seemed to help others become better. We all loved Hunt, and to be around him.
A few years ago, I wrote about my hopes for the St. Mark’s student body. “Our goal is to produce young men who are committed to making a difference in their communities and in the world. The development of character is central to our purpose and we hope that each of our students is equipped to address his present and future opportunities with confidence and imagination.” Hunt was a Marksman through and through. I could have written that statement just for him. Honest, giving, compassionate, competitive.
His teachers always found him a delight. Let me share comments from faculty members about Hunt’s participation and contributions.
“What a worker Hunt is! This young man truly has a muscular work ethic.”
“Often, Hunt would seek me out during the day to find out that night’s homework, or even the next day’s homework so that he could work ahead. He demonstrates a high degree of discipline for one so young.”
“Hunt’s work is always so amazing.”
“I commend him for his conscientious preparation and active classroom participation. Hunt is diligent, thoughtful, and possesses a desire to learn. He is undoubtedly one of the finest students in the Japanese program.”
“He has begun to sing with authority and accuracy and really makes a difference in the overall sound.”
“Hunt is just a great kid. I am regularly amazed at his athletic talents.”
“Hunt has been fabulous in this class. He is so focused, on task, so easy to work with, and has just a great sense of humor.”
You know, to rear the superb young man described in the comments, it takes loving, devoted parents. We all know that, Julie and Jim. Yesterday, someone said that it takes a terrific older brother to help mold an individual like Hunt. And James, that’s right.
St. Paul’s admonition, found in I Corinthians, seems so apt today, especially for a young man who engaged in sports with such fervor, élan and determination.
“At the games, as you know, all the runners take part, but only one wins the prize. He must also run to win.” And so Hunt did in every area of his young life. He played hard, studied diligently, threw himself into every activity – he approached life with a full frontal assault mentality.
The concluding stanza of my very favorite poem “If,” by Rudyard Kipling, goes as follows:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a man, my son.
Hunt filled every minute with sixty seconds of distance run. You bet he did! He gave his all. He touched our lives. He represented what it means to be a Marksman and his spirit will always be with us.
I miss Hunt, but am glad he entered my life and that we knew each other. As we move forward, let us remember the way Hunt engaged in every endeavor and relationship, with love, passion, and commitment. He may have lived for only 13 years, but he lived all those years very, very well.