Deep in the heart of Texas lies a historic town nestled between two lakes. A sanctuary between Austin and Waco, two hours southwest of Dallas. Welcome to Belton, Texas. A laid-back place to enjoy gorgeous Texas scenery, eat some really good food, hear great music… and now, play Gridiron Football!
Meet Caleb Fisher. He's our local Gridiron Commissioner for Bell County. And he and his wife, Kristina, and two kids, Liliana and Nicholas, can't wait to introduce the great tradition of Gridiron Football to Belton, Texas.
You first started coaching at 15, helping your uncle coach your siblings' softball team for 11 seasons and one state championship. And for the last few years, you've been coaching your own kids in flag football. How has your perspective on coaching, and experience coaching, changed as you've grown from a teenager / sibling to an adult / father?
Starting out at a young age, coaching helped me find something I was passionate about when I was struggling to find what I wanted to do. It allowed me to connect with my sister and be a part of her life, and grow my love of sports, coaching and teaching. As I’ve grown older, I’ve been able to pursue coaching as a coach for a juvenile prison and my own children. Being a coach for your own kids is the greatest feeling– helping them find newfound success and watching them transform to the young adult you’re striving for them to be. I’ll admit, being both a dad and coach was touch to navigate at first! But I’ll make this promise to the Gridiron community and our local Belton community– it’s worth it. It creates incredible memories that your family with love and remember forever.
A young boy was having trouble in school... until he joined your flag football team. Would you share that story here, and how his transformation (on-and-off the field) impacted you and your vision for Gridiron Belton?
When I was forming a local co-ed flag football team, I was approached by one of our community leaders. He asked me to work with a young man and felt that I could make a difference in his life. I spoke with his teachers (he attends the same school I now work at) and learned about his history of poor decisions and behavior. I met with the young man and set expectations that if he were to join our team, things would need to change. And they did. At the end of the school year, his teachers and the school administration were astonished at the improvement in his grades, behavior and overall personality! It was all about setting clear expectations. I want to bring this same approach to our community here in Belton. We have a lot of kids needing this in their lives and we, as Gridiron Belton, can be there for them– to help build up and grow our youth and ourselves.
Your first foray into flag football was with your daughter, Lily. How did flag football benefit her, and what do you hope she and other girls take away each season?
My daughter, Lily, was struggling with confidence like a lot of young girls. She struggled with behavior, grades and issues with attitude at home. After speaking with my wife, Kristina, we decided she needed an outlet. Her confidence has exploded, grades are up, helpful at home, more independent. She is seeing herself in a brighter light! My hope is to help all of our girls find the confidence, independence and strength to know they are lionesses and can do whatever they set their minds to do. And to show that we’re there for them, to help them grow.
Texas is known for its football. Controversial question... what colors do you wear on College Gameday?
My wife would be happy to hear my color would be Aggie Maroon.
What’s the best moment you’ve seen or experienced on a football field?
To watch my son who has Autism play and compete with kids his age with full acceptance.
What makes Gridiron flag football better than any other sport?
Gridiron’s purpose is to build the local community. This isn’t about money, it’s about creating a family experience that everyone will love and enjoy.
What’s one thing you hope the kids in your league take away each season?
Too hard to choose just one! My hope is that kids take away courage, confidence, and the drive to become leaders in their schools and communities.
Who’s your favorite football player, past or present?
Current fav player is George Kittle. Past Player has to be Jerry Rice.
If you could play for any football team, who would it be?
San Francisco 49ers.
Your team’s down by 7 with 10 seconds to go. What’s your go-to play?
A QB hand-off reverse pass.
What's the best local spot in Belton, the next time we're in town for Game Day?
So many to choose from but my family's favorites are hands down, B-Town Burgers and Nami Japanese Hibachi grill.