Prairie Central’s Daniel Hawkins honoring dad by continuing to play


FAIRBURY (WCIA) — Daniel Hawkins is doing whatever it takes to get back on the field.

“Oh man, it kills me,” says the senior. “The chance I can’t play Friday, it just makes me upset a little bit.”

In last week’s game, the Prairie Central offensive lineman injured his knee and hamstring. But his drive to get back in the lineup isn’t just to help his team win, this season is all for his dad.

“He’s my biggest motivator,” says Hawkins. “He believed in me, when I didn’t even believe in me. I love that guy so much.”

In August Daniel’s dad, Mark, passed away suddenly. It was just days before season started.

“I didn’t show up for a couple days, he would’ve hated me for that,” says Hawkins. “I got right back out here. Every down, every second I think of him when I’m on the field.”

And that resilience in the face of tragedy hasn’t gone unnoticed. With Daniel starting on the offensive and defensive line, the Hawks have bounced back from their first loss of the season, winning six straight games, and clinching a spot in the playoffs.

“After his dad passed and he missed a couple days of practice, and it was tough without him on the offensive line,” says Prairie Central head coach Andrew Quain. “I can’t say enough about how important he is to everything we do, and it means so much to have him a part of our team.”

And they’re hoping to have him back against conference opponent Monticello this week. That’s motivating Daniel to overcome his injury, and finish out his senior season for his dad.

“I love you dad,” says Hawkins. “Miss you every day.”

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