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She Waits

I wrote this article last year as Holly Hoak waited for Gunnar to make his Wildcat debut.  I saw fitting to repost this today.  I know Holly, she will be wearing her blue and white supporting her son this season.  Patiently she will wait.

BY TINA COX

“All of our children were taught to walk off the field if possible. It shows respect for the game.” That day Gunnar couldn’t walk. That day was a defining moment for Gunnar,” Holly Hoak, his mother explained.

It was opening day his junior year at Dublin Coffman High School. Gunnar was playing right field. The ball was his play, the wind was strong and Gunnar misjudged how far the ball would travel. He collided with the brick wall face first. He laid unconscious as coaches, trainers and players held their breath until the ambulance arrived.

Patiently Holly waited as the doctors determined the extent of Gunnar’s injuries.

The left orbital fracture did not require the placement of a plate which would have ended Gunnar’s dream of playing college football. Recovery was not going to be easy, however, Gunnar was a fighter and was determined to pursue his dream.

Patiently Holly waited as Gunnar’s healed and his senior season approached.

When Gunnar committed to the University of Kentucky he shut down all other recruiting. He had made his decision. He was a man of his word.

Patiently Holly waited as Gunnar began his freshman year at the University of Kentucky.

For Gunnar, the path seemed to be laid. Drew Barker would lead the team. An unknown quarterback by the name of Stephen Johnson would provide back up if necessary and Gunnar would be able to redshirt his freshman year. This would allow time for him to learn the system, grow and adjust to college life.

Things do not always go as planned…

This all changed when Barker went down with a season-ending injury. The unknown quarterback Johnson became QB1 and the question began to rise. Would they be able to save the redshirt for Gunnar?

Patiently Holly waited not knowing from game to game if Gunnar would play. She knew the coaches would do what was best, but still, she waited.

The Blue/White game showed fans the ability of Gunnar. He hit targets, made all the right plays and yet fans have still not witnessed a snap from him during the regular season.

Barker played backup to Johnson and has been far from effective on the field. Yet, still no Gunnar.

Patiently Holly has waited. She attends her younger sons’ games on Friday nights and then makes the trip to Kroger Field on Saturdays. She has attended every possible away game she could not wanting to miss “his moment”.

When asked to describe Gunnar in one word she answers, “humble.”

Fans will agree. He works hard every day in practice. He does not complain via social media; instead, he encourages his teammates and fans to support the team.

Today is the last game of the season. Gunnar will be on the sidelines. Holly will be in the stands patiently waiting for the moment Gunnar will take his first snap as quarterback for the University of Kentucky.

Gunnar described his mom in one word, “awesome.” I think all of BBN will agree.

Patiently we will wait with you, Holly Hoak.

Follow me @tox5470

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