Prep school football star takes a well-traveled road to Stanford (cont.)
When it became evident that he could play Division I-A football, Skov and his father, who has since moved back to Mexico with his wife and daughters, opened a playbook that few top-tier players peruse. Referencing U.S. News & World Report's listing of the nation's best academic institutions, the father limited the son to consider Division I-A schools that fell in the top 30. Thinking outside the Associated Press Top 25, the acceptable schools included Vanderbilt, Duke, Virginia, Notre Dame and Stanford, which ranks No. 4 on the U.S. News and World Report list.
At Pawling, Shayne has stepped up his leadership role. Looking the part of a young Jed Bartlett, he walks the hallways and school grounds in his mandated khaki pants, blue blazer and shirt and tie. As the head of six prefects -- student leaders elected by their peers -- he is charged with bridging discussions between the faculty and the 380 boys on the 150-acre campus. In the Dunbar Dormitory, he is the proctor, helping sophomores deal with everything from homesickness to the absence of girls at the all-boys school. Last month, he orchestrated the baptism of freshmen into the Trinity brotherhood -- an annual event that coincides with an early autumn bonfire, the freshmen were thrown into the pond behind the residences by upperclassmen.
Shayne's three-year stay will soon be over. The father and son, once at odds, agree that prep school was the right call. Last year, Patrick started classes at The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School, where he is a developing fullback and plays golf for free at the on-campus course. "I tell Shayne he's half-white, half-black and half-Mexican," Peter said. "Going to school with rich white kids is diversity for my children."
Back in Guadalajara, where he recently sold his automobile shop and is opening a hamburger joint, Peter spends time caring for Annika, 8, and younger daughter, Olivia, 6, but recent news may affect the whole family. Terri will soon begin chemotherapy cycles, which last 10-12 months, at the University of California in San Francisco. Without anyone else to assist her in California, Shayne -- who will play in January's U.S. Army All-American game -- may have to leave Pawling to take care of her while his sisters and father remain in Mexico. The family plans to consult with the school and make a decision within two weeks.
As his father once sought solutions to his family's problems, Shayne hopes the cure for his mother's pain will someday come. For now, at night, when he turns the lights off in his second-floor dorm room, Skov sees more than the landscape ahead. "Everyone notes how beautiful the campus is here," he said. "I think I notice the opportunity more."