Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

You don’t have to play to help the team

By
From page B1 | July 12, 2013 |

Sean Fraser

Who says you have to be an athlete to help a team move forward?

Sure, as Davis High’s football squad went from one win per season to five over the past three years, there were 100-yard rushing performances and 10-tackle games galore.

But on Tuesday afternoons, there was another coach — a classmate of these Blue Devils — helping elevate his peers in the classroom, providing little victories that didn’t show up in the standings.

Sean Fraser, who last month graduated from DHS, spent a lot of time over the past two years tutoring anyone who needed to raise their proficiency in math or science.

Now, Fraser is about to spend his life helping others. It’s just who he is.

Fraser took some time this week chat with me about what his summer holds, where he’s headed and the importance of mentoring.

“I’ve been raised to want to help people,” the son of Eleanor Lo and Dave Fraser explains. “My mom and dad are very helpful people. I’ve been a Boy Scout or Cub Scout since I was 9 … and that program encourages you to help people.

“Guess I’ve just been raised in (that kind) of environment.”

Fraser, who is headed for UC Santa Barbara to study medicine (Lo is a geriatrician), is almost embarrassed by the attention he’s gotten from folks like former Devil football coach Steve Smyte and tutoring coordinator Pat Quinlan.

“He was a very reliable kid,” Smyte told me. “Extremely responsible and our program benefited from having him. The football guys were kinda hesitant to accept help from peers. But over time, (the results) of him being there were clear.”

When Smyte took over the program in 2010, the team grade-point average was 2.2 and DHS had just lost several players to poor grades.

Smyte, with Quinlan taking a lead position, promised to do something about that.

“We knew this had to change. We set a plan that included mandatory study hall for all players in season and for players with less than a 3.0 grade-point average out of season,” Smyte reports.

With Fraser recruited by Quinlan — and other members of the Math and Science Tutor Club (MAST) bobbing in and out of the program — the 2012 Blue Devil football team carried a 3.3 overall GPA. Four of the six players with less than a 2.2 three years ago, according to Smyte, were over 3.0 at last grade check.

“MAST is a great bunch of kids who volunteer their time at lunch to tutor fellow students,” said Quinlan, an airline pilot and former volunteer coach for the Devils. “The club president, Jacob Rutheiser, (did) a great job … helping get tutors for us until Sean became a fixture.”

Beyond volunteering at noon, Fraser worked with the players in the afternoons and was available via phone if those he was helping needed quick direction.

“I enjoyed working with football (team),” Fraser added.

He liked the fact that the coaches closely monitored the players’ academics and that they set firm appointments with Fraser with a set work program. Fraser thinks the school needs to do a better job promoting the student-offered tutoring service.

“We’d go in at lunchtime (as tutors) and sit there for 45 minutes,” Fraser remembers. “If you’re lucky, someone would come in as for help. More people to need to know about it. More people need to take advantage of the offer.”

Fraser, who wants to follow in his mom’s footsteps as a doctor, carried a 4.2 GPA. When it comes to math and science, he knows his stuff. But there were many other tutors available for foreign languages, English and other subjects. It’s Fraser’s perspective that those allies were terribly unused.

So what’s ahead for Fraser?

In another year, the 17-year-old will age out of Scouting. Before leaving, he’s raising funds to help in his pursuit of Eagle Scout status through local Troop 139. He also wants to take full advantage of “resting a little” this summer before he’s off to UCSB.

“That’s one thing about high school … it’s all laid out for you. In college, you have to make your own decisions about attending class, doing your work,” Fraser says. “It’s going to be different.”

A hiking and camping enthusiast, the pre-med student wanted to stay in California. He is excited about the change of scenery but is happy he’ll stay close enough to family. His half-brother Ian lives in the Southland, too.

So, does Sean have advice for those Blue Devils who remain on campus next year?

“Talk to your teachers,” he says. “Knowing about what to expect in a class will always help. Plus, having a good relationship with your teacher can’t hurt …

“If you want to help someone, volunteer for an organization,” Fraser added. “Once you’re in something like MAST, you’ll understand how rewarding volunteering can be. Then you can make your own decisions about how to help someone without having to be part of a group.

“It’s a good feeling. Whenever I help somebody, I leave that situation feeling good about myself and that that person will go on (prepared) from there.”

While I Have You Here: Lo and Dave Fraser are also the parents of Dylan, 10, and Willie, 11. Ian and Angela are grown half-siblings of Sean’s. Dave is a retired instructor, formerly with the UC Davis School of Medicine, and has a continuing interest in agriculture and botany.

Through Scouting, Sean has become a dancer in the Order of the Arrow, a Native American community service group.

While Fraser says he has no tribal blood, he knows he has Native American legacy in his heart. As a member of the Tito-Wa Chapter of the Order of the Arrow, Fraser is a participant in many area cultural demonstrations.

He even makes his own costumes.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

    Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

    Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Record drought saps California honey production

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    World travelers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Weightlifters causing a racket

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    No support for militarization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    A better use for this vehicle

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Police are our friends, right?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Wage plan has a big flaw

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

     
    Light-hitting Cats fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Giants win nightcap in Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Natsoulas to host mural conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    Yolo Mambo to play free show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6