Spotlight: Fields says family matters more than money

Douglas Fritz • May 6, 2018 at 5:23 PM

This is the eighth segment of our spring sports Scholar Athlete Spotlight, a chance for some of today’s brightest high school athletes to answer several random questions. Some of the questions will be challenging, some will be light-hearted, and some will be serious.

The Ethan Fields File

Senior at Elizabethton High School

Track and field, 3,200 meters

• GPA: 4.0

• ACT: 33

• Favorite Netflix show: “Arrow”

• Favorite song: “Only Here For A Little While” by Billy Dean

• Favorite food: Chicken pot pie

• Person I admire: My father

• College choice: University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Interesting Facts

• Plays guitar and banjo

• Enjoys fishing and hiking

• Involved in mission trips with Valley Forge Free Will Baptist Church

• Plans to earn his solo flight in an airplane this summer

The Four Questions

1. Upon graduating from college, you are offered two 20-year jobs. In one, your boss will be extremely demanding, very mean, and will not give you specific days off even for important family matters. You will make $100,000 a year. In the other job, your boss will be kind, complimentary, and let you have a high degree of control of your schedule. You will make $50,000 a year. Which job do you take and why?

“I would take the job that pays $50,000 a year because the other job would be highly stressful and very taxing on both my mind and body. Money is not important enough for me to give up my mental and physical health for more of it. Fifty-thousand dollars is plenty to support a small family and that’s what really matters to me — my family, not my money.”

2. You have agreed to be a volunteer coach for youth sports during the summer. One is a boys’ team, the best in the league, with very coachable kids and great parents who stay out of the way. The other is a girls’ team. They don’t know the sport very well and all of them come from broken homes, but are hungry to learn the game and in need of a good role model. Which team do you pick and why?

“The girls’ team clearly needs me much more than the boys’ team. The only reason I can see that someone would pick the boys team over the girls is for the personal glory it would bring to them. That is a very petty and selfish thing to do. It is more important to support those girls and help them become better people and players through the sport than to win some championship. People are more important than gold, silver or bronze.”

3. After making good business decisions, at age 45 you have amassed enough of a fortune to become owner of a professional sports franchise. Because of your wealth, you can pick any team from the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL. Which team would you pick, and what is the first thing you would do to improve the franchise?

“I would have to say the Cleveland Browns. They are just a complete mess with zero wins the whole season. Someone needs to step in and shake some things up, whether that be replace some coaches, changing up conditioning and practice, or just straight up changing the whole playbook. I want to see the underdog story of a lifetime, and to come back from so much continual losing would be astounding.”

4. The principal at your high school shows you a list of five seniors who he thinks are headed down the wrong road in life because of alcohol use, poor attitude or anger issues. He asks you to speak at graduation, and wants you to find a not-so-obvious way to encourage these specific boys and girls. What could you say in your speech?

“We all have challenges in our life, things that haunt us or hinder us. Some people struggle with more than others. However, there is something we all can have if we work for it, the ability to overcome these challenges. No matter how big the obstacle, there is always something we can do to improve ourselves and our situation. There is always hope for a better tomorrow as long as you are willing to strive for it.”

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