Faith. Family. Athletics. When it comes to the DiTomasso family, those three words have shaped who they are as a unit.
This wonderful family of four consists of Christina (mother), Mike (father), and their two children, Dominic and Jayden. Each member of the family is active, participating in sports and fitness.
As one can imagine, their lives are busy balancing work, wrestling, cheer, yoga, church activities, education, and traveling. However, the DiTomasso family manages to do it all as their faith plays a huge role in their home. With God first, anything is possible.
“To me and my husband, we always felt that our kids needed to be active in something, whatever their interest was . . . especially since I teach high school, I know how easy it is for teenagers to get in trouble,” Christina, a math teacher at Lowndes High School, said. “I think that just having them active in whatever it is that they do is important.”
Jayden, the remarkable cheerleader and the youngest of the family, will be entering high school this upcoming fall. She was introduced to gymnastics at three-years-old, which eventually led her to cheerleading at the age of eight.
Now, at age 14, she’s on the Lowndes High School competitive cheer squad, two South Georgia Athletics teams, and is on her second year coaching, “The Sprinkles”, a squad for younger children.
“She’s actively participating in four teams this year,” Christina said. “So, we’ll see how that goes. That’s a lot.”
Dominic, the oldest of the two and an accomplished athlete, has been wrestling since the sixth grade. Before then, Dominic played football and baseball. Now a senior at Lowndes, he’s had the opportunity to place third during the state championship his junior year and second his sophomore year. He’s also a part of several different travel and club teams.
“We had to see where Dominic’s interests were,” said Christina. “He had to try out some sports before he found his passion, and we would’ve never thought about wrestling . . . ever.”
Since father Mike DiTomasso played football, wrestling seemed like a new challenge, but that didn’t stop the family from turning down the idea. In fact, it allowed Mike to learn more about the sport and all it entailed.
Learning the sport led to assisting wherever he could with Dominic’s middle school team, and soon he was certified as a USA wrestling coach. Now, he helps with multiple teams, mostly travel. Talk about commitment.
“He dived in right away to be an active part,” said Christina. “Different teams pick him up.”
Christina is not to be left out in the physical activity category. She keeps her energy going by enjoying yoga. When school is in, her days begin at 4:50 in the morning with workouts because the remainder of the day is dedicated to the kids.
“I love it, it’s kind of weird,” she said. “But it does energize me. It’s almost like a necessity and almost like my body hurts if I don’t do it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad.”
Christina says she has to write every detail down to keep track and their calendar comes in very handy because not only are they active in sports but their church also, squeezing in bible studies whenever they can.
Their faith in God keeps them grounded and motivated.
Another way they balance it out altogether is through the help of friends. She described the friends they’ve made in cheerleading and wrestling as “essential”.
“We carpool and transport one another’s children all the time,” she said. “We are blessed that in both of our kid’s sports, we literally have developed friendships that feel more like family, and we all look out for one another.”
Discipline and teamwork have helped shape both Jayden and Dominic into the athletes they are today. Academics also play a major role. Dominic holds over a 4.0 grade point average and Jayden is well on her way as well once she reaches freshman year. For Christina, it’s a blessing for her children to be able to balance both athletics and academics.
“To be able to keep all A’s and put in the practices that they put in and the time . . . they’ve definitely learned time management, how to deal with 15 other people on a team, and travel with them,” said Christina. “There’s just been so many ways that the sports have positively impacted and molded who they are. I can’t even imagine them not being as active as they are.”
Next for the family, you can see both Jayden and Dominic being athletic as ever this upcoming sports season. Their mom and dad have instilled the love of Jesus to them which they carry with them every day. The parents remind them that everything they have is because of God and to always remain humble.
Christina expresses how thankful they are for the many blessings God has bestowed upon them. It requires many sacrifices, but both she and Mike find joy in supporting their children’s every cheering event and every wrestling match. They don’t allow the schedules to stress them out because they genuinely love being there for them.
“God first, no matter what,” said Christina. “None of this is possible without God. No one else gets the credit for this.”
Writen by: Tyrah Walker | Photography by: Brandon Pham