Family tradition: Sharrocks cheer three sons through GRC sports
Photo submitted Luke Sharrock, Chris Sharrock, Don Sharrock and Todd Sharrock share a love for sports. Luke currently plays baseball, football and basketball at George Rogers Clark High School, while Todd and Chris excelled at football and baseball at GRC.
As parents of three sons, two of which who have played prep and collegiate sports, and another who is a sophomore at George Rogers Clark High School, the parents have had little time to devote to family and leisure events during the past two decades.
They spent Valentine’s Day at Norton Gymnasium Thursday, watching youngest son Luke play for the Cardinals in a 43-26 loss to Covington Holmes.
Chris and Todd Sharrock were born 18 months apart and both played sports since they were 4 years old. The pair started out with soccer before settling on football, basketball and softball. The two brothers excelled in football at Clark, with both players earning college scholarships. Chris played football at Georgetown College and was a member of the school’s national runner-up squad in 2002. Chris originally accepted a football scholarship at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., but eventually changed his mind in order to be close to his family, especially Luke, who was 5 at the time.
“It was a decision none of us regretted,” Ruthann recalled.
Todd Sharrock played baseball at Morehead State. Along with the athletic skills that Chris and Todd shared, the two brothers also excelled in the classroom, getting support from Ruthann, a mathematics instructor at George Rogers Clark High School. All three attended Providence Elementary and Clark Middle. Luke is finishing up his last two years at George Rogers Clark.
“We have always stressed academics first and they all took that to heart,” Ruthann said.
After realizing that Chris and Todd wouldn’t play competitive sports forever, they realized “the end was in sight and didn’t like it.” Luke Sharrock was born in 1996, giving the Sharrocks another standout athlete in the family.
“We really, really wanted another boy,” Ruthann said. “Everyone thought we would want a girl since we had two boys,” Ruthann said. “He has truly been a blessing and at times, I am sure he has felt like he has had four parents instead of two.”
Don and Ruthann Sharrock attended Graham High¿School and Bluefield College, both in Bluefield, Va. They didn’t date during high school, but formed a relationship during college. Don was a standout three-sport star in baseball, football and basketball, while Ruthann ran track and field, and was a majorette and cheerleader. The three sons acquired their athletic skills from Don and academic success from Ruthann, but Don begs to differ otherwise.
“The kids got their athleticism from Ruthann and intelligence from me,” he said with a smile.
Don has coached his sons in various youth league games and Ruthann has had his back the entire time. The number of sporting events the couple has attended measure in the hundreds, if not thousands.
“I couldn’t imagine life any other way,” Don said. “It’s been an absolute blast.”
Although the couple share the same love for sports, Don and Ruthann share differing emotions at sporting events.
“If you ever watch Don at a ballgame, he’s very intense,” Ruthann said. “I’m very calm and quiet. I’ve been trained to be that way because when Chris was very little, he was like, ‘Mom, please don’t be like one of those yelling moms from the stands. I would rather you sit there and cheer me on.’ That’s really my personality, anyway.”
As Chris, Todd and now Luke know, Mom and Dad have always been there to enjoy the ride, regardless of the sport or grade level.
“We are their biggest fans in life, both on and off the court or the field,” Ruthann said. “There have been sacrifices, but they’ve been worth it to see three intelligent, healthy young men (excel). They certainly can’t say their parents haven’t been there for them. Don is the best dad any kid could ask for.”
As they did 16 years ago, Don and Ruthann Sharrock see the end in sight but have no plans to rest. Their 17-month-old granddaughter Raylee Sharrock, Chris’ daughter, may take up soccer when she gets older, while Don is considering a return to the coaching ranks.
“Just as we were hoping, grandchildren will start picking up the torch as Luke nears the end of his career,” Ruthann said.
As the saying goes, timing is everything.
Contact Keith Taylor at email@example.com.