Posts Tagged "Hilinski’s Hope"

A ‘whirlwind’ from the start: The Hilinski family’s experience watching Ryan’s Year 1

August 5, 2020

Kym Hilinski was cleaning out a drawer in her family’s house when she found it.

It was a set of goals. Her son, Ryan, writes them out before each football season. When this set was compiled, he was just embarking on his first college season at the University of South Carolina, competing for a backup spot behind a fourth-year starter.

“One of his goals was to see the field,” Kym Hilinski said. “He said, ‘Well, I definitely saw the field.’”

These days feel a long way from when she joked about hoping, as a mom, that he could go be safe and through a career with four redshirt seasons at South Carolina. Then the starter, Jake Bentley, made it to the end of the first game of 2019 before breaking a bone in his foot.

It set off a whirlwind of a weekend and thrust Ryan Hilinski, a true freshman, into the starting lineup. Hilinski himself ending up dealing with multiple injuries. And his parents were there, guiding and supporting him though a season where he got an unexpected chance and suddenly had a whole lot on his plate.

They’d come across the country from California for a new beginning, and so much came so quickly. Looking back, it was a crucible of sorts. They learned and came through as a family who had already been through a great deal of taking on so much of the unexpected.

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Photo Caption:
Mark and Kym Hilinski bought a house on Lake Murray so they could be close to their sons, USC freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski, pictured, and Kelly Hilinski who lives in Irmo. The Hilinski family is adjusting to life after the suicide of Tyler Hilinski who killed himself while a quarterback at Washington State. 7/3/19  [email protected]

Seeking Sanity Amidst Madness

March 30, 2020

Staying Mentally Healthy

This past week was marked on millions of calendars as the start of March Madness. Some make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to watch 32 games in 48 hours, others travel alongside their alma mater to the stadium housing the hardwood classic, countless others fill out their brackets and tune in online while pretending to get some work done.

Every year, we watch for the story of the underdog who upsets Goliath, the underrated kid passed up by the big conferences enacting revenge, and the Cinderella team without a superstar who shuts down the next top draft pick. Amidst broken brackets, cut down nets, and tears of triumph and defeat, we get to feel part of the history these kids write as they fulfill the dreams they’ve been dreaming since they took their first steps.

What’s Next?

Transitions are always tough as the NCAA reminds us that the vast majority of collegiate athletes “go pro in something other than sports.” However, this year, many student athletes from high school to college played their last game without any fanfare or closure. In fact, they didn’t even know they were playing their last game. The sport they’ve played every day for their entire life that formed a critical part of their identity, is now over and they question, what’s next?

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Hilinski’s carry hope, football to South Carolina

July 19, 2019
“We hear the term differently now, mentally strong and mentally tough. What does that really mean? You have to be sick to think that leaving by suicide is going to be better for anybody. There’s no other way to explain it,” Mark said. “At 21 years old, life is fixable, period. That choice shouldn’t be an option. And we want to make sure that if talking about it and telling Tyler’s story is impactful enough for you to share yours, or if you know somebody that’s going through that struggle, we want to give you the tools to get him or her out of it, and talk to a professional. The silence is what hurts the most.”

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