AUSTIN (KXAN) — National Signing Day is certainly a big day for high school athletes who are realizing a dream coming true right before them, but it’s also a chance for families to take a moment and reflect.
While the athletes perform on the field with one day hoping they can play ball beyond high school, the parents are the ones making it all work behind the scenes. The journey from Pop Warner to big-time Division I college football isn’t done alone. That’s what makes a day like Wednesday a special one.
“This is a dream come true,” said Kim Klubnik, mother of Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik, who earned a scholarship to play at Clemson University. “Since he was little-bitty boy, Cade’s wanted to play in the NFL. He had set little goals for himself along the way, and we thought it was cute. We didn’t really know if he’d play college football or play for three state high school championships.”
Cade, the Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year, leads the Chaparrals into Saturday’s Class 6A Division II championship game against Denton Guyer. Kim, meanwhile, is part of a committee responsible for feeding all 113 hungry Chaps every night before games. Also on the committee is Jeanne Robertson, mother of offensive lineman Connor Robertson who is staying home to play his college ball for the Longhorns.
“It’s extremely exciting. It’s bittersweet,” Jeanne said. “Connor is our youngest of three, so he’s our last kid on this road of high school. It’ll be easy to stumble down the road and root for the Horns.”
For the Nwabuko family in Manor, things are a little more hands-on. Che Nwabuko, a speedy wide receiver/running back for the Mustangs who will play for the University of Pittsburgh next year, trains with his brother and his dad.
“This is what we’ve been working for, and the day has finally come, said Che’s dad, Chux II. “I’m definitely proud of him.”
Che’s older brother, Chux III, starred at Hutto High School and now plays at Texas Tech. Their father said Chux III has given Che some pointers on being a college football player, but what dad is most excited about is Che getting to experience another part of the country.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to leave down here in Manor, Texas, where I’m from, too, and get to grow in a different part of the nation,” he said.
It’s about a 4-hour flight to Pittsburgh, and Chux said he’s already got a plan to go watch Che compete. whether it’s on the gridiron or part of the Panthers’ track and field team.
“We’ve already made arrangements on what game we’re going to,” he said, with a smile.