For Matthew Hook, football truly is a way of life.
The New Palestine resident coaches middle school football and his son, Maxen, played a vital role in the New Palestine football team claiming back-to-back Class 5A state titles before heading to the University of Toledo, where he was he was looking to make an impact this fall as a freshman.
For both father and son, Toledo football is on hold as the Mid-America Conference cancelled football this fall amid COVID-19 concerns.
Matthew Hook tells Giant FM he got the call he was hoping he would not receive Saturday morning.
“I got the call Saturday morning from Maxen that the MAC season had been canceled/postponed. He was devastated, probably as despondent as I’ve ever heard him. So immediately I was trying to help him through it. He called a couple hours later, and he was in a better place,” Hook said.
While his son was doing better, dad was anything but.
“I was really upset Sunday. While I understand the decision, it was a very sad day. Fall football is very important to my family,” the elder Hook told Giant FM.
Toledo has had its share of issues with COVID-19 recently, as Rockets head coach Jason Candle announced last month he had tested positive and was asymptomatic.
Despite that, Matthew Hook says he isn’t overly concerned about the disease and his son playing football.
“On a scale of 1-10, I’m a 1. I know the virus is real. I know that people have died, but I do not believe we can control a virus with measures we have taken. It has to run its course,” he said.
Classes at Toledo begin next week, and until then, Maxen will be lifting and continue with conditioning, according to his father.
“Other than that, they don’t really know what the football practice schedule will look like at this time,” Matthew Hook said.
Despite it all, the elder Hook has some fatherly advice for his son.
“Keep your head up. Control what you can control .Focus on the positives. You are at school with free education, room, board, stipend. There’s a lot to be thankful for,” Matthew Hook said.