One. Just one special one. Barry Thompson, Founder of Fairfax Football Academy is a special one.
If we get lucky, as coaches, players, teachers, mentors, students, parents, or fans, we run across one special one. Just one. Of any of them.
I luckily have happened to have crossed paths with several of each in my life. Incredibly fortunate. And in most cases, they are far to humble to speak of or for themselves, so I ill use this vehicle to speak on them, of them, and about them. It is not that people do not speak about them, it is HOW they speak about them that I wish to change. I will start this one with someone that I am close to, and someone that I admire deeply. As I explain who he is, I will explain those traits about him that make him special. Special to me, to others, to anyone. Barry Thompson of Fairfax Football Academy is a unicorn in a dancing grizzly bears clothing.
I first met him in Arlington, Virginia back in 1975. We were both attending Swanson Jr. High School, and he was already an elite student and athlete. He also was already forming as a leader of his peers and community. He ran track, was a roller skating phenom, a black quarterback, and a wrestler. And what anyone that ever met him can tell you that he sparkles. We met again at Washington-Lee High School in the same country, and his trajectory continued as a human and as an athlete. On a team with future Division 1 and NFL players among them, he was still a leader of stars. A “do it the right way”, “is that your best effort”, “now that we are done working, lets smile” kind of guy. Those traits took him to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, a factory of amazing leaders itself.
His story goes deeper off the field, than on. Yes, he was a high school quarterback who was athletic enough to switch positions to play defensive back in college. No small statement there at all. And another key to his uniqueness and his ability to analyze, adapt, and succeed. And those things serve him well today, as a honorable son, a loving husband, a doting father, and a shining light to young people all over the country.
Life put us on each other’s paths again some 25 years after high school. A random encounter at a youth league event put us face to face, and back in time. The quarterback in his huddle, calling his wide receiver to attention and tasking the troops with the next goal. And off we went, to rally some younger troops in a new place and a different times. But the same ole QB, same leadership and wisdom. And, the IT thing. The subtle character and trust factor that makes you want to GO! The thing that makes you want to work, improve, and try to be better. He is truly unique in his energy to assist, lead, and love.
He is blessed and gifted with a partner in life of epic standard. She too, a beacon of light, good, and beauty. Strong, resilient, and purposeful, she is the backbone to the family and community, and the two of them have raised two of the most incredibly beautiful humans anyone can imagine or hope for. Two life stars who will grow to change the world for the better, and that is why they are here. To be the standard makers and North Stars. I applaud them as loudly and proudly as I can, no matter where they are or what they are doing. It’s like standing on a beach as the sun rises. The beauty is astonishing, and the possibilities are endless.
I know a lot of great people. I know a lot of great coaches. Barry is the type of person/coach that everyone should know. He is a walking, talking, good filled LOVEPRINT.