After the article about Spencer and Dad, that same reporter, Mark, was inspired to do an entire series on our family he is calling "Blended Heritage." Below is the full-page article he wrote about me and dad which included 6 or 7 pictures.
CELEBRATING FOOTBALL BOND BETWEEN DAD AND DAUGHTER
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
FARMINGTON — In the midst of difficult circumstances, Mike Adams managed to keep his daughter’s football dreams alive.
Meredith Adams-Pettigrew, now 27, daughter of Farmington head football coach, Mike Adams, has not let those things define who she is.
Homecoming Day Tragedy
Pettigrew has known the sting of a child’s disappointment and the perplexity of trying to comprehend the death of her birth mother, Diane Adams.
Pettigrew was riding in a car with her mother when they were involved in an accident that killed Diane on Oct. 13, 1989. They had been on their way to get Pettigrew dolled up as part of the Homecoming court where her dad coached at Charleston.
What she does have is memories of family and those associated with her father’s connection to football helping shape the woman she has become. According to Mike Adams, a seat belt saved his daughter but also was the cause of her broken arm.
“After the accident and when my arm was in a sling, I remember one of my dad’s football players bringing me a gigantic gray teddy bear that was bigger than I was,” Pettigrew said. “I loved it but eventually my dad had to give it away because we found out I was allergic to it.”
Family Football Structure
Mike Adams found football was something he could fall back on. The structure he had learned to operate in as a coach now helped him as a single parent with Meredith and her younger brother, Spencer, who was 18-months-old at the time of the accident.
“It came to being really well-organized,” Mike Adams said, noting Charleston had just one little grocery store at the time and big grocery shopping trips required traveling to Fort Smith.
“I had to keep a list, know what was available, know what wasn’t available and watch the newspaper for sales,” Mike Adams said.
Having lived alone with his dad, who was an electrician and on call at all hours, for a short while during his eighth grade year, Mike Adams learned to cook to feed himself and that ability came in handy when feeding Meredith and Spencer.
“I had been cooking for a long time so that part wasn’t a big deal,” Mike Adams said. “It’s reality, you’re there. You’ve got two kids depending on you. It’s not something you can hand off to somebody else. You just do it.”
Fascinated With Football
Though her moment as crown bearer at Charleston didn’t happen in 1989 because of the tragic accident that took her birth mother, Pettigrew eventually got to compete in the sport she grew up with. Pettigrew started going to practice with her dad when she was in kindergarten.
“A lot of times, she’d just walk up to the school and stay with me,” Mike Adams said.
In 1992, Adams married Robin Brewer, who had also been widowed and raised a son, Jon David, in a singleparent household. As the two families merged, the three children became best friends and involved in football.
Mike Adams helped his daughter learn football by letting her watch film with him at home.
“I always enjoyed watching it and watching him analyze plays,” Pettigrew said.
Girl Getting To Play Football
Pettigrew stands nearly 5-foot-11 and used height to her advantage in powder puff and intramural girls college football.
“My height absolutely helped in playing linebacker, not only being able to read the quarterback’s eyes, but also for interceptions,” Pettigrew said. “I could jump higher to get the ball.”
While Pettigrew admits she is not the fastest person in the world, although she ran track for her dad in high school, but could sniff out a play better than any other girl.
“When I played, he taught me to read the quarterback’s eyes,” Pettigrew said. “It was more fundamental because girls tend to look to where they want to throw prior to the play.”
Pettigrew enjoyed blitzing and could read a play so well that she would anticipate the snap count and try to get a jump. The intensity she played with led to a conflict with her dad, who was refereeing the powder puff game during her junior year at Fayetteville.
“I beat it every time but my dad didn’t think so and threw several flags on me for off sides,” Pettigrew said. “I started arguing with him and he threatened to eject me. That was my junior year and he refused to be a ref my senior year for that reason. He just taught me too well.”
Excitement Of A Wedding
Pettigrew and her mother, Robin, shared the excitement of planning her 2011 wedding to Ryan Pettigrew. Together they went through the process.
“If it wasn’t for my dad getting remarried I wouldn’t have had that opportunity and she has been my mom since I was 7,” Pettigrew said. “Dad doesn’t know anything about weddings, come on he was coaching, he wouldn’t like help me. It was very, very special. It was instrumental in all of my wedding plans and she was there with me step by step so I couldn’t have done it without her.”
Dad Is A Hero
Pettigrew said her dad has always been her hero.
“I have always said that I wanted to marry somebody like my Dad. Growing up, I knew that he always put our family first,” Pettigrew said. “My Dad set a very high bar for any guy I dated. I wanted to marry somebody that was kind, generous, a leader and a true family man.”
Pettigrew said her husband, Ryan, has fit those characteristics to a ‘T’ and she is so lucky to have found him.
“It is really funny how similar my dad and my husband are,” Pettigrew said. “For our future children, I want them to know about all the family they come from. They are lucky because they will have more family members than most. A blended family is a blessing and God knew exactly how to fit our families together.”
Sports, Pages 13 on 10/24/2012