Sports

Stocker family finds success after sports

The four children of Chuck and Lu Stocker made their marks athletically at Central Valley and have gone on to successful and diverse careers.

“A friend of mine told me our family has everything covered,” said Mike Stocker. “Sports, entertainment, your brother carries a gun and is all-powerful, and your sister, a Harvard graduate, wields it all.”

Steve, 42, entered law enforcement. Following an eight-year pro baseball career, Kevin, 38, is back here involved in various enterprises. His twin sister, Harvard-educated Jill, is a stay-at-home mom still working part time in the health care industry.

“We encouraged our kids to try different stuff at any time and didn’t hinder them,” said Chuck, who taught and was an assistant superintendent at CV and superintendent at Freeman and East Valley before retiring in 1998. “On the educational side, even though they didn’t have to go to a four-year school, they needed additional training after high school to sustain them and we told them to figure out their interest field and get into it.”

“I think it was my dad who said we could do anything but you’ve got to dream big,” said Mike. “Mom made those things happen.”

Despite far-flung lives, the family has been able to remain in touch, gathering several times a year.

Where the others are now:

Steve Stocker

Then – A baseball catcher for the Bears, he studied law enforcement at SCC and played baseball, completed his career and education at the University of Washington – “I did better than Kevin, I can tell you that,” he said – was drafted by Philadelphia and played one year in the organization.

“That was it,” Steve said. “After that year of minor league ball I made my decision to start a career.”

Now – He’s now in his 18th year and a commander in the police department working for the city of Auburn, Wash. He said he’s done everything from SWAT team to administration and while satisfied added it’s a business in which “you can get pretty skeptical about society.” He is married – his wife Lori Anne a musician and singer – has three children and they are in the process of adopting a Chinese child. Steve does triathlons to keep in shape and last year completed the Coeur d’Alene Ironman.

Jill Halkias

Then – At CV, Jill Stocker was a two-time state champion gymnast, on vault as a sophomore and floor exercise as a junior, before becoming a cheerleader. She was also a standout track sprinter and school valedictorian who wanted an Ivy League education. She was going to run at Harvard, but “wanted to do something different with my life.” Being a cheerleader, said her dad, earned her a week trip to Tokyo as part of an Ivy League football all-star game there. A psychology major, she gravitated toward the medical field, she said, and spent six months as an intern for House Speaker Tom Foley.

Now – Originally recruited to work at a hospital in California, Jill is an independent consultant for a company called Health Care Partners that negotiates business contracts between hospitals and clients for health care services. Her husband, Ted, is senior vice president of finance. They’ve been married nine years and have a son and daughter. “I’m more of a West Coast person, I think,” said Jill of her Manhattan Beach, Calif., lifestyle.

Kevin Stocker

Then - His senior year at CV Kevin helped the Bears to a fourth-place state finish in basketball, but he suffered an injury in baseball after setting a GSL record for stolen bases the year before. He played three years for the UW, was drafted in the second round and spent eight seasons as a shortstop with Philadelphia (including the magical 1993 World Series year), Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Angels.

Now – Kevin and his wife Brooke live in Liberty Lake with their three children. His ventures have included coaching, broadcasting for College Sports TV, and various business enterprises.



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