Dublin’s and Comanche’s Bobby Cutler
Is A Message Of Hope
Every now and then I find a story where I least expect it. I know Bobby Cutler, have taken many, many photos of him during his career as a Comanche Indian and yet, when athletic director and head coach of the Comanche Indians, Stephen Hermesmeyer, first began to tell me how proud he is of Bobby and just how many obstacles he has overcome in his first eighteen years on this earth, I must admit that I realized that I did not know the high school senior at all…not at all.
The truth of the matter is that I’m not going to tell his entire story here today, but I’m going to tell you enough…enough to let you know just what an amazing young man Bobby Cutler actually is.
Bobby lived most of his life in Dublin, Texas with his mother and stepfather, not leaving there until he was a freshman in high school…and only then because life was tough…too tough to stay.
“My stepfather did not treat my mom the best and when we left, we walked…WALKED…to Proctor, where we moved in with my grandparents.”
But Bobby didn’t like living in Proctor and going to school in Comanche.
“I felt very isolated there. I didn’t feel accepted at Proctor, and I could never do anything right for whatever reason. I didn’t have any friends there, and I didn’t have any friends in Comanche.
“And part of it was my fault. I didn’t want to listen to my mom or my grandparents. I had never met my real dad or any of his family but when I started going to school in Comanche, I met my second cousin, Xavier Gomez, at CHS and when I was a junior, I moved in with his family. I’ve been there ever since.”
Bobby went on to tell me how that came to be. He had begun spending more and more time with Xavier’s family and one night as he started to leave, he teared a bit. Xavier’s dad, Louis, noticed and asked him about it. Bobby simply explained that he really needed a place to live, and with no hesitation, Mr. Gomez brought Bobby into his home and into his family.
Although that might have been the end of the story for a lot of kids, for Bobby that wasn’t the case. It took a while, and it was a bit disjointed, but the story finally did come out. It started with his mom going to jail when Bobby was in the first grade.
“I remember in the first grade my mom was in jail for a while due to substances. It was scary. I didn’t have a dad and then I didn’t have a mom.
“I don’t really talk to my mom a lot. I’d love to pursue a better mom/son relationship, but right now we just don’t really click. I do know my mom is there, but she does not make it a priority to be in my life. For instance, I’ve never had anyone watching me participate in athletic events; I’ve never had anyone in the stands rooting just for me, and that would have meant a lot to me.
“I know there are kids who don’t care, but I wanted someone to be there. Sports have always kept my mind off of the struggles at home, and I loved playing them, but I do wish I could have had someone there for me.”
Bobby grew up without knowing his dad or his dad’s family.
“I probably haven’t spoken over a handful of words to my dad. I had never even met him at all until Gomer’s [Xavier] grandmother hooked the two of us up. I met him when I was about fifteen, and I was in shock because he looked just like me.
“I shook his hand and hugged him and he told me to come into the kitchen so we could talk. His new wife ran in there right behind us, and he wasn’t able to say anything to me because she did not want us talking. That ended fast.
“I haven’t spoken to him since my junior year. I thought it was going to click that time, and he told me that I could work with him on a dairy in Stephenville, and then he bailed on me, and I haven’t seen him.”
Of course, the injustice of it all made me want to throw my computer across the room as I thought about my own grandchildren and the fact that they are completely smothered with all of us hovering around them at every turn. I’m sure there are times when at least some of them just wish we’d all go away, skip an event or two, and just leave them the heck alone. And here I was looking into the eyes of a young man who had never once felt that type of smothering.
Trying to put some oxygen back into the room, I searched for something happy to say.
“But you found Gomer and the rest of the Gomez family.”
“I’m very fortunate that they gave me a roof over my head. They don’t ask me to pay rent, and I try never to ask for anything. They offer, and they certainly don’t neglect me, but I don’t want to be a burden. I eat away from home as much as possible so that I only take a roof, a bed, a shower, and I wash my clothes there, but I don’t want to be an obligation.”
So Bobby works as Coach Herm pointed out to me. He works A LOT for a high school kid.
“I usually work from 30-50 hours a week at Pop’s Convenience Store,” and he has been keeping those hours for well over a year! “I work any day that they will schedule me, and they have been good to work around my school hours.
“Like during football season. I couldn’t work Friday nights, but I would go in on Saturday and work from nine till nine or ten that night. I had a lot going on in football season while I was trying to play and work. Lots of times I’d get 20-25 hours in 2 days.”
So how does he do it and keep his grades up as well?
“I finished last semester with a straight A average. My grades have never really been a problem so I know I can do it [college] if I can just earn the money to get there.
“Where I’m struggling right now is figuring out how I will pay for school. I’m going to go to Howard Community College in San Angelo and get my associate degree there and then transfer into Angelo State. I know I want to do something in the computer field.
“I’m pretty bad about spending too much money. I grew up without a lot, and now that I can have things, I usually buy them. I have to stop doing that.”
What does Bobby Cutler see when he looks in the mirror?
“I’m very proud of myself. I have a job, and it keeps me out of trouble. I see what alcohol has done to my family, and I don’t want to go there. After the last football game this year, Coach Herm told the younger kids that there were two players that they should model themselves after: Ethan Creech and me. I was so surprised…but I do know that I’ve come so far.
“I’ve never had a man [Coach Hermesmeyer] like that in my life either. That guy is phenomenal. He does things the right way. I love the way he makes kids a priority. He stresses all the time that it is not about wining and losing…it is about learning to be a good man, a good husband, it’s all about the future.
“I’m very ambitious. My main priority is to be successful as a husband, in my career, and in my family. I want to give my children everything I never had….I know no matter how badly my family treated me, they care….but I plan to SHOW my kids how much I care.
“I haven’t always been this way though,” Bobby admitted to me.
“Just last year, I was drinking way too much, and I didn’t care. I felt sorry for myself…I couldn’t understand why no one cared about me…and then Herm made the call and told me he had heard that I was drinking too much, that he needed me, but that things would have to change. It was hard, but I’m so glad I did it [played football].
“I wasn’t going to play originally, but after Herm called me, I realized that he checked up on me more than my mom does, and I liked that he was so concerned. Coach Herm is the reason I have changed, and I plan to keep it that way.”
Bobby finished by telling me how one day before Christmas he was in school when his name was called over the intercom. When he entered the office, he found a present waiting for him from the Hermesmeyers.
“It was my white jersey, and it meant so much to me. I want to have it framed. About that time, Coach came through the office and when I thanked him, he teared a little and told me he wished it was more. He’ll never really know how much it was,” the soon to be college freshman smiled at me.
“Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right. I believe I can.”
And you know what? I believe Bobby Cutler can do anything he decides to do, and I don’t say that about many people!