Camanche football

Back row, left to right: Mike Shaw, Jason Sharp, Wade Everson, Ryan Kinkaid. Front row, left to right: Logan Shaw, Gavin Sharp, Cade Everson, Eric Kinkaid.

CAMANCHE — Wade Everson didn’t hesitate.

He misses hitting people.

Legally, of course.

“Mostly just the camaraderie with the guys, competing, getting to go out and hit people legally — that was my favorite part,” Everson said.

Now, like the three other dads of current Camanche football players, it’s his son doing the hitting these days.

Though, none of the dads want to try to tackle their sons anytime soon.

“Not so much anymore,” Camanche assistant coach Ryan Kinkaid said with a laugh. “He’ll hurt me.”

Current Camanche football players Cade Everson (senior), Eric Kinkaid (junior), Logan Shaw (senior) and Gavin Sharp (junior) all have a unique thing in common, as all four of their dads played football at and graduated from Camanche: Wade Everson, Ryan Kinkaid, Jason Sharp and Mike Shaw.

It’s given each father and son something in common.

“I talked to him a lot about when he played in high school because it’s something we can talk about a lot, and we played similar positions,” Gavin Sharp said. “What he did influenced me to do it. I was going to play anyway, but it’s something more for us at home.”

For the Sharps, two things are a constant: football and playing on the line. Jason Sharp’s father, Duane Sharp, graduated from Camanche as a lineman in 1971, Jason was one himself and Gavin’s two older brothers were as well.

“We grow them big here,” Sharp said.

Sharp graduated from Camanche in 1993 after playing the 1991 and 1992 seasons with the Indians, but he wasn’t always at Camanche.

After sixth grade, Jason moved to Gainesville, Florida and later played at Buchholz High School there before returning to Camanche for the 1991 season.

“When I came back, I was coming back to play with all of my friends that I had played with in elementary school,” Sharp said. “It was neat to come back to all of that.”

Gavin Sharp appreciates having his father’s experience to lean on.

“I’ve played line since I started playing football when I was younger,” he said. “Since he played it, he can talk to me a lot about what to do and what not to do. He’s kind of an extra coach for me at home.”

Jason Sharp appreciated having his father’s experience to rely on, too.

“I grew up playing football with my buddies, but once it came back to me moving back to Camanche and playing for his alumni, he was all about it,” Jason Sharp said. “He started showing me techniques that he used growing up, so it was like being coached at home and at school, because some of the coaches I had at school, he played with, so it was interesting.”

For the Kinkaids, Ryan (class of 1990) gets to coach his son, Eric. That dynamic is clearly paying dividends — Eric Kinkaid leads the Indians in tackles (64) and tackles for loss this season (12).

“For me, it’s fantastic,” Ryan Kinkaid said. “Especially in light of our situation here with COVID and all — just the fact that we have the opportunity to practice and play is fantastic, and of course being on the sideline when your son is on the field, there’s nothing better.

“There’s no way I’d rather spend my free time.”

Eric Kinkaid said his father has been a great role model.

“He gives me drive, he gives me goals,” he said. “He was good at his position, so I want to be what he was. He still does talk about it a lot. He really liked football, it was his favorite sport. He went to college for it. It just really makes me want to appreciate what I’m doing now because he really wishes he was back on the field.”

Logan Shaw (27.5 tackles, interception this season) said he wants to keep the legacy started by his dad going in the family.

“He talks about how he grew up playing football and I’m always looking after him, doing what he did,” Shaw said. “He had a good run when he played — he was a great football player. I’m just trying to be what he did and keep the legacy going in the family.”

He doesn’t want to break his arm like his dad did, though.

“He was at practice and he got hit pretty hard and broke his arm — he’ll never forget that day,” Shaw said. “It was pretty bad. He broke it in two spots. He always talks about it.”

Mike Shaw (class of 1994) moved from running back to lineman after breaking his arm in seventh grade. Aside from broken bones, he said all the memories from that time in his life are good ones.

“It was a lot of fun,” Shaw said. “The coaches back then tried to make practices fun — they were tough, because back then we did two-a-days. It was overall a great experience. We had the same coach (Mark Metzger) through my whole high school career, but he was a guy who was not only your coach, but a guy you could talk to about anything.”

But it’s not just the coaches the players can talk to. While the four current players are growing up fast and each of their lives keeps changing as the years fall by, one of the things that remains constant is football.

Wade Everson (class of 1989) appreciates that.

“It gives us something in common so that we can still connect,” Everson said. “The older they get, the harder it gets to connect. If you’ve got a sport or something you can talk about, that helps a lot.”

That connection has helped Cade Everson in his pursuit of being a great running back — something he has achieved, as he leads the area with 1,040 yards rushing on 122 carries with 14 touchdowns.

“He was the same position as me and he tells me how he would prepare for gameday, or every time I’d be mad or upset about having a bad game or something, he would help pick me up and tell me what to do to be better,” Cade Everson said. “It brought us really close. He knew a lot about what to do and I’d just always ask him for tips to get better.”

The game has changed a bit since the dads played, but the same core values still shine through in today’s game — values that have helped Camanche to a 6-1 season, a district championship and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

“Obviously the game’s evolved quite a bit since, what I dare say was 30 years ago when I was playing on the same field,” Ryan Kinkaid said. “The game’s changed a lot, but at the same time, at this level of play, a lot of the same characteristics that are positive characteristics come through — hard work, great teammates, great coaching — if you have those things, you’re going to have success.

“We’re lucky to have that.”

Everytime Mike Shaw steps on the Camanche football field, he simultaneously feels the history of the days passed, but also the excitement of the days to come for his son.

“You’re walking on the field and you go, ‘25 years ago, I used to be doing the same thing,’” Shaw said. “You get a weird feeling, but it’s an awesome feeling to see your kid and the name on the back of a jersey that you once wore for Camanche.”

It’s not just a shared jersey between the fathers and sons.

It’s a shared life.

“I can sit in the stands and honestly feel what he’s feeling because I did it,” Mike Shaw said. “When he comes home depressed if they lost, I know what he’s going through — win or loss, I know what those emotions are.”

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