When Dave Fiedler’s son played basketball and football at Lyons, Fiedler assumed college athletic opportunities would materialize.
But that never happened for Dylan Fiedler, who is now a student at Wisconsin-Madison.
Dave Fiedler vowed to be more hands-on for the last of his five children.
Left-handed starting quarterback Tom Fiedler, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior from La Grange, is receiving college interest due to his strong arm, solid grades and extra activities such as membership with Deerfield-based Core 6 Athletes, a training program for college football prospects.
To give Tom Fiedler even more exposure, Dave Fiedler launched a personal website with the assistance of son Matt Fiedler, a web designer living in Boulder, Colo.
At tomfiedler14.com, college recruiters and high school football fans can get a complete week-by-week summary of Tom Fiedler’s season. Dave Fiedler records video of every game and posts it soon after editing. Highlights from Tom Fiedler’s 235-yard, two-touchdown performance during Friday night’s 17-10 upset at Downers Grove North are already on the site.
“I don’t go on it much,” Tom Fiedler said. “It’s a way of sending out a link to our practice and game highlights (to recruiters). The only thing I do is check it once in a while.”
Though Fiedler’s website was designed as a tool for college recruiters, it has helped bring the extended Fiedler family together and eliminate the constant stream of emails among relatives looking for updates on Tom’s season.
Brothers living in Colorado and Wisconsin, sisters in Milwaukee and Chicago, and aunts and uncles spread from Washington, D.C., to Washington state can go on the website to check out game highlights.
“It’s an easy way for his grandparents to see what he’s up to and what the team is doing,” Dave Fiedler said.
Dave Fiedler, who has worked at the Chicago Board of Trade for 30 years, learned some web design basics and video editing to help keep the website fresh. The site has a complete record of Tom Fiedler’s quarterback career going back to sophomore year. Personal information includes his time in the 40-yard dash (4.8 seconds), vertical jump (30 inches) and bench press (210 pounds). It lists his GPA, links to news stories on the team and contact information for his football coaches.
Although the West Suburban Conference has contracted with hudl.com to provide video highlights, Dave Fiedler posts his own video so he does not have to deal with rights.
“There are so many people competing for scholarship opportunities,” Dave Fiedler said. “Dylan was a good player, but I didn’t appreciate how much I as a parent could affect his ability to play at the next level. He played pretty good, but he didn’t get noticed. I thought I had done him a disservice that I was not proactive.”