It's a small world doesn't quite capture the essence of the chance meeting between two former Cherokee Washington High School student-athletes at the recent Division I football game between Auburn University and the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM).
Those former Cherokee Braves - Jake Dyslin and Chad Traver - got together when their respective teams played football this past fall in Auburn, Alabama. At the time, Dyslin was an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Auburn, and Traver was a graduate assistant strength and conditioning coach at ULM.
Today, Dyslin is an assistant "S&C" coach for football, and the head S&C coach for men's and women's basketball teams, the baseball team, and men's and women's track and field teams at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Traver is head S&C coach at ULM for men's basketball, and first assistant for the football team and six Olympic sports at ULM, including baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, women's basketball, and tennis. He is pursuing a master's degree in Applied Exercise Physiology and seeking his certification as a strength and conditioning specialist.
After ULM, Traver hopes to land a fulltime position at a Division I school "preferably closer to home."
After graduating from Iowa State University, Dyslin worked two years as a S&C coach with the Kansas City Royals and when he got married decided that the lengthy travel schedules and time away from home weren't for him, so he accepted the job at Auburn.
"I enjoyed professional baseball, but with all the travel and hours I decided I wanted to get back into college. So, I got my master's degree online when I was working for the Royals," said Dyslin, like Traver a talented multi-sport prep athlete for the Braves.
At William & Mary, Dyslin also oversees an S&C intern and a part-time employee and helps them with their sports. He, too, would prefer to land a D-I job that suits his skills closer to home.
Jake is the son of Joey and Kathy Dyslin of Cherokee.
Traver, son of Dave and Susan Harkins of Cherokee, began his love of strength and conditioning when he first began wrestling and playing football and his parents took him to Victory Gym to train under Ralph Kroger. He then trained under Cherokee Braves coach Lynn Jolly who, like Kroger, is an "excellent practitioner of strength and conditioning," according to Traver.
Traver graduated from WHS is 2003 and went to the University of Sioux Falls to play football and earn a degree, while there playing on a national football championship team. He also lettered in wrestling one year as a heavyweight at USF.
Traver credits his parents and grandmother, and timely counsel from his pal Jake Dyslin, for helping him attain his career goals to date.
It is no secret that both Jake and Chad are devoted Christians, participating in campus Fellowship of Christian Athletes throughout their educations, and continually keeping God in their everyday lives.
I remember both of these dudes very well as Braves because they both stood above the crowd in earning the respect of their teammates, coaches, and fans by simply rolling up their sleeves and going to work at 100 percent, all the time.
In doing what I do, I've watched and reported on thousands of special, high-quality high school grads who go on to achieve fulfilling lives doing bigger and better things in their respective careers.