About a champion: Shoutout Saturday to Wesley Frater
By Dr. Steve Gallon III
While everyone was gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday and the “talking heads” and prognosticators were staking their claims on who would be victorious—who would be the crowned champions of the NFL (I was riding with Seattle, Roland Smith—IJS), my shoutout goes to Wesley Frater. Wesley, where you at? As an advocate for children and education, real recognizes real! I see you and respect and admire your longevity in this work.
A champion is not relegated to those who only compete on the field of competition. A champion may be an evangelist, a visionary advocate who clears the field for the triumph of an idea—who advances a mission or cause.
For decades, Frater has brought vision, leadership, and genuine advocacy to the area of high school sports in South Florida and across the nation.
It’s been nearly two decades since I came in contact with this brother while serving as principal of Miami Northwestern. Before, during, and since that time, the name Wesley Frater has remained synonymous with excellence in high school athletics and in providing a platform for both performance and preparation for our student athletes to prepare for school and life after “the glitz and glamour” of local high school sports. To prepare for the “real world.” To prepare for life.
The MLK Basketball Tournament—Wesley Frater. The Dade/Broward All Star Football Game, as well as the North vs South—Wesley Frater. His Tournament of Champions also provides seminars for student athletes on preparing for college, recruiting, leadership, and character development—giving them insight into avoiding exploitation and the pitfalls that too often malign young student, as well as college and professional athletes from the urban core.
Frater is not a coach or holds no official position in any local government bureaucracy. Yet, he has stood and continues to “stand in the paint” for our youth as he has for decades—just because! I’ve never seen him in or seek the spotlight for himself—he puts and keeps the lights shining on the kids.
Shout out to Frater, a proven marathon runner for young people aspiring to leverage athletics as a pathway to their dreams and life’s work. And thanks, Wesley for helping the dreams of countless youth over the years come true.