Cary-Grove's Seaburg family knows how to vacation
Talk about cool vacations for a football family.
The Seaburgs have it down.
And 14-year old Brady Seaburg has turned the vacations into something that's gone from project to passion.
In 2015 the Seaburgs -- who number six, including dad and Cary-Grove head football coach Brad -- started visiting high school football stadiums in northern Illinois.
"A colleague of my dad's showed me how to make a Google site," Brady said. "The original goal was to make it 50 percent about the history of playoff appearances (for Illinois schools) and the other half was going to be photos.
"We started looking at ones near us and that's how it got started. A lot of friends and family thought it was cool so we started looking at vacations that included visiting football stadiums. That turned it into national more than local."
To date, the Seaburgs have visited more than 250 football stadiums in 17 states from California to West Virginia. Some of those trips have been family vacations, some Brad and Brady bonding time.
"Brady has been attending Quest Academy in Palatine and we wanted to find something that would keep his brain active in the summertime," his dad said. "We decided to start going to these fields, he put the website together and it's been a lot of fun."
The idea for the website came from an Arizona trip.
"A couple years ago we went on a vacation to Arizona and checked out a few stadiums," said Brady, who also counts seats and estimates the capacity of each stadium they visit. "We usually go to Tennessee on spring break so we added on then.
"Last year, my dad and I came up with the idea for us to go look at football stadiums and spend the night. We went to Iowa and Missouri, to small rural stadiums to college stadiums. What we started to look at is the stadium's culture. Does the football program have high interest? Does it have field turf? Is it well kept? Is it brand new or historic?"
Fast forward to Friday night. Brad Seaburg figured, as he has for many years, to be on the sidelines at Cary-Grove coaching the Trojans, a program he has led since 2011, notching the Class 6A state title in 2018 after second-place finishes in 2012 and 2014.
But there is no high school football this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first time since he began coaching, he has an opportunity to be with his family. And what will the Seaburgs do? Go to a football game, of course. The planned trip is to West Branch, Iowa, to visit the Little Rose Bowl.
"Every time we go to a stadium we say 'Wouldn't it be cool to go to one of these when they play a game,' " Brad said. "Knowing the reality of our lives right now, if there's a positive out of all of this, I'll just be fan at a football game with my family."
Brady, a freshman at Cary-Grove who plans to go out for football next spring, estimates he spends up to two hours weekly working on the website, says the project has turned into a passion he enjoys and plans to continue. Future goals include visiting stadiums in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
"I like having this because we get to go around the country with something that connects us," he said. "My dad's a football coach and I like statistics. We get to see all these great stadiums and sometimes the whole family comes along. It's always fun."
The future appears to be a bright one for this young man, although he hasn't zeroed in on what he'd like to do when he "grows up."
"My dad is a social studies teacher and I've always liked social studies but I'm pretty open," Brady said. "I do want to continue this passion when I'm an adult."
And continue to take cool football stadium vacations.