Mark Flores Sr. may feel a little like the Bill Murray character from the movie “Groundhog Day,” who keeps repeating the same day—day after day, after day.
For the past three years, the father of five has come to the Calumet New Tech High School cafeteria in the late winter to celebrate one of his sons as he signs a letter of intent to play Division I college football at Kentucky State University, a historically black college in Frankfort, Kentucky.
This year, his annual pilgrimage was for his youngest son, David, or “Bang-Bang” as he is affectionately known by family and teammates. While brothers Mark and Scott excelled as quarterbacks, David’s strength was on the defensive side of the ball, as a defensive back. He set school and personal records with 143 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss in a season, and total tackles for loss in his career, with 45.5. Notably, David made the Indiana Football Coaches Association Region 1 All-Star Team, and the Indiana Football Coaches Association 1st Team All-State.
Lake Ridge Head Football Coach Cody French called Flores one of the most talented high school players he has ever seen, explaining that “he has an incredible football IQ, he really understands the game; he’s a step ahead of everything. He knows what’s coming before it comes, he’s good against the run, he’s good against the pass, and I think he is going to be really good at the next level.”
Flores’ senior season might have been in jeopardy as he suffered a broken leg in a game his junior year and had to go through rigorous rehab to prepare for his senior outing.
“I had to work really hard to get back in football shape,” Flores said. “I put on a lot of weight just sitting at home because of my broken leg—I really couldn’t walk. As I got better, I attacked the weight room and it brought me to where I am now.”
Flores says the best thing about his scholarship is that it will reunite him with his brothers on the gridiron.
“It’s great—the feeling is going to be great. I can’t explain it. It’s going to be amazing.”
His father humbly admits his goal was never to raise good football players, but rather good people.
“You just have to love them and support them. At home, I always taught them to be who you are, to treat people the way you want to be treated, and to strive to be the best you can be,” said Flores Sr.
Mr. Flores no longer has any football player sons to add to the Kentucky State roster, but he may not be done sending students to the school’s athletic department. His daughter, Alexis, is the youngest of his children, and the junior is a standout in both basketball and softball. Could she be next?
(L to R) David Flores, his father, Mark Flores Sr., and sister, Alexis Flores, celebrate David signing to play football at Kentucky State University. He will be joining his brothers, Mark and Scott, who are now on the team.