A friend of a friend-Garrett Eckerson – Kyle Kenney-May 16

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for May 16,  2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

I promised myself that these daily posts would feature my five children close or on their birthday. Yesterday was the 25th birthday of my son Kyle. He has given his mother Mira and I lot’s to be proud of. He is the 4th child and I believe he was born an extrovert and then got coached up in childhood by his brothers and sister, friends, and the college basketball players I coached on how to take his outgoing personality to another level.

Today Kyle is employed as a high school math teacher and soccer coach at Cape Fear High School in Fayetteville, NC. He coaches both the boys and girls teams and in three weeks will finish his first full year at the school. Prior to going to Cape Fear he taught math in Robeson County (NC) at Fairgrove School, located just outside of Fairmont, NC.

At Cape Fear Kyle has had an opportunity to get involved with his big passion in life, soccer. He has played the sport since he was 4 and has been mentored as a coach by some pretty awesome people. His list of men that has influenced his soccer life is pretty extensive. A few that have really played a big part in his life would have to include Winthrop University Soccer Coach Rich Posipanko, former UNC Pembroke Soccer Coach Mike Schaeffer, and former Clemson and current UNC Pembroke Soccer Coach Phil Hindson. Each of these coaches have shown Kyle methods, strategies, techniques, and most important philosophies on how to treat young people and get the best out of them.

As a teacher Kyle would not be where he is at today without the mentoring he received from the chair of the Math Department at UNC Pembroke Dr. Steven Bourquin. Kyle educational paths took a lot of turns off the main road and Dr. B was always able to help him navigate a course back to the interstate. In addition Steve Bourquin provided to Kyle wonderful opportunities to be a Supplemental Instructor and to tutor in the Summer Bridge program for three years. Everything that Steven Bourquin put into Kyle made him a better teacher.

Not sure what the future will hold for Kyle as he is bright and ambitious. I do know that his past and present has included some pretty awesome friends.  Some of those friends are recent but a number go back to when he was a small child. Friends like Kyle Dickerson who my son has known since he was in grade school. Kyle and Kyle were both consumed by soccer and remain friends today. I cannot count the number of times Kyle and Kyle spent the night together as young boys playing video games and talking soccer.

(l-r) Kyle Dickerson and Kyle Kenney

Kyle Dickerson

The neat thing about Kyle’s friends is their families and our family became close.  One of those families is the Eckerson’s who have two sons Hutch and Garrett. Kyle has been friends with Garrett for a long time.

(l-r) Kyle Kenney, Garrett Eckerson, and Chase Johnson

Kyle and Garrett

Hutch will get married next weekend in Pittsburg, PA to and Kyle will be there almost as an adopted son of the Eckerson’s. Gwen and Todd Eckerson have treated Kyle as family. Garrett Eckerson and Kyle Kenney are best buddies despite their differences.


(l-r) Kyle Kenney and Mira Kenney

Kyle and Mom



Mutt and Jeff

When two friends are in high school and one is a gangly 6’4″” and the other 5’5″ the nickname Mutt and Jeff kind of sticks.


Garrett Eckerson was the tall friend and Kyle Kenney was the short one during their high school days at Lumberton HS (NC). These two became great friends and the Eckerson’s house out on Barker Ten Mile Road in Lumberton, NC became a second home for our son Kyle.

Garrett’s parents Gwen and Todd Eckerson included Kyle on trips to their lake house and inclusion in important family functions including the upcoming wedding of their oldest son Hutch. They made sure Kyle got included in trips to Columbia, SC to watch Hutch play college football for USC.

Hutch EckersonHutch E

Kyle has also gone to visit Garrett while he was in film school in New York City.

Today Garrett is pursuing his education in Australia at the University of Newcastle. He is a gifted and creative young man who has a passion for the visual arts especially photographs and film making. As proud as we are of our son Kyle we also relish in the successes that Garrett Eckerson has had.

Links to some of his Garrett Eckerson creative work can be found below.



Happy that my son in his first 25 years of his life has discovered that having talented friends like Garrett Eckerson is a real blessing.


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