Tag Archives: Football

KC Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid talks family, faith and football

That they might have joy column, NNL, by Jacki Wood

I have admittedly never been a Kansas City Chiefs fan.

But that changed a bit last year when they hired Andy Reid as head coach, who played football at Brigham Young University. And you know how much I love my alma mater, especially BYU football.

So I was thrilled when I was invited to attend a special event with Coach Reid and his wife, Tammy, this past weekend at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Platte City.

It was promoted as an evening of “Family, Faith and Football.” And the Reids did not disappoint to the approximately 800 people in attendance with plenty of laughs and stories from their lives and his coaching career.

Tammy started by sharing their family history. They met in a tennis class at BYU and began dating. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he was not. They both returned to their homes that summer, Tammy to Arizona and Andy to California, where he began learning more about her church and was eventually baptized.

They both returned to BYU, and a year later, they were married. They have five children, born in five different states due to his various coaching stints, and one grandchild.

She talked about ways their faith has helped their family over the years including the death of their son, Garrett, who died of an accidental heroine overdose a year and a half ago.

“We know that we came from a loving Heavenly Father who sent us to this earth to be tested…and we know we will one day see him again,” she said. “That’s what got us through that really huge trial in our lives.”

Then Coach Reid shared a PowerPoint he presented to his players last week to get ready for the upcoming season.

“We are the Chiefs,” he said. “And we’re going to be a little bit different.”

He continued: “There’s a small margin of victory in the NFL. What are we going to do differently to go win the trophy?”

He talked to his players about practical, simple principles that will help them be a little different, to get to the Super Bowl and to “get that ring” this year.

He told the audience that those same principles he shared with his players are similar to what is taught in his faith and are applicable to everyone.

“Football is a microcosm of life,” he said.

Some of the principles included sacrifice, training, trust and working to win.

Sacrifice: Every team is talented; you have to give up something to get a lot, on and off the field.

Training: Conditioning and knowledge can help you dominate.

Trust: Working hard as a team brings mutual respect for one another. Trust = wins. Players come in as teammates and leave as family.

Work to win: Give your best every day.

Coach Reid concluded by saying: “Surround yourself with greatness. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by great people and I love every minute of it. I jump out of bed early in the morning and I am ready to rock and roll.”

I love that. How many of us are jumping out of bed every morning, excited to tackle to day.

We have to be a little different. And we have to be willing to give up a little to get a lot.

Advertisements

Relay For Life: Osborns work together to fight cancer and move on

Feature for the NNL by Jacki Wood

 

Audrey Osborn had been engaged just four months when her husband, Joel, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009.

They were both just 24 years old at the time.

“I remember I was in the athletic offices on campus,” Audrey said. “We were both graduate assistants at the time. And he came up and told me that they had found a lump and the doctor was pretty positive it was cancerous.

“He was very calm and positive about it. It honestly didn’t even hit me at the time because he was so optimistic about it. That was his attitude throughout his entire journey, always positive, never felt sorry for himself, he just knew in his mind that he would beat it and be fine. His attitude made it very easy on me in the beginning because we just went on with our lives like nothing was wrong.”

That was in November, and the following summer, the two were married. They found out on their honeymoon that Joel – the former Northwest Missouri State quarterback and current assistant coach – would need to start chemotherapy when they returned.

“He completed four rounds of chemo, and even after his first round, he was still going about life as normal,” Audrey said. “It really wasn’t until the second round that it started taking a toll on him.”

The caregiver role

Joel started losing his hair, his energy decreased, his appetite changed and there were times when he would get pretty sick.

And that’s when Audrey stepped in with her role as caregiver for her new husband.

“God works in mysterious ways,” she said. “I just so happened to be in between jobs at the time so I was able to go with him every day to chemo. What a blessing that was. I don’t know how we could have planned that any better. God was definitely watching over us during that time.”

She said her role as caregiver was to be his rock.

“We left all the drama out of everything and just did what we had to do when we had to do it,” she said. “We both always had the mindset that this is how it is now, but we’ll get past this and move on. I just did whatever he needed me to do. That’s part of the deal, ‘in sickness and in health.’ He would have done the same for me.”

As bad as Joel felt toward the end of his treatments, it was football season and he was a graduate assistant. Audrey said he felt he had a job to do and so he never missed a game.

“That just goes to show you how dedicated he is and how loyal he is,” she said.

His last round of chemo finished up around his 25th birthday in October of 2010, right in the middle of the season.

During that time, Audrey said they looked to their family, especially their parents, and their good friends for support.

“They did everything they could to help out and were always there to talk to, to lean on and give encouragement,” she said. “Our Bearcat family was awesome during this time, too. The coaches and their wives were nothing but supportive and helped out any way they could. They brought us meals and drove Joel to appointments if I couldn’t.

“We are honestly so blessed to be a part of the Bearcat family.”

Relay For Life

Since Joel’s diagnosis, the couple has walked with a team each year. His parents started a team in his hometown of Harlan, IA. They go up there and walk with them when they can, in honor of Joel as well as in the memory of his Grandma Osborn and his Grandpa Blum.

The Bearcat athletic office also has a team the Osborns have been a part of in the past. And they have also participated in the Survivor Dinner.

“Relay is a chance for us to take a break from our crazy schedules and remember what Joel went through and what so many others are going through,” she said. “It brings you back to reality and reminds us how thankful we are that Joel is still in remission four years later.”

And Relay is also a time for everyone to be on the same team, Audrey said.

“You realize that cancer affects just about every family in one way or another,” she said. “You get to spend the day with your community, maybe someone you see at Hy-Vee or someone that you run into at the Community Center, and it reminds you that in reality, we’re all here for each other.

“It also reminds you that you don’t always know someone else’s story, what someone else is going through. It’s just a great way to show your support for everyone in the community.”

The Nodaway County Relay For Life event will be held Saturday, May 17, at Bearcat Stadium. For more information, visit facebook.com/RelayForLifeOfNodawayCounty.


National anthem deserves our respect

By Jacki Wood, written for the Nodaway News Leader

Two days after the horrific Boston Marathon bombing, the Boston Bruins took to the ice in the city’s first major sporting event since the attack. The Boston Fire Department Honor Guard, representing all of the city’s first responders, presented the colors and singer Rene Rancourt began singing the national anthem.

But after just a couple of phrases into the song, the entire crowd had joined in, singing so loudly and with such conviction, that Rancourt lowered the microphone and they all sang along together.

It was one of the most emotional renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” I have ever witnessed. The “USA!” chants that followed reminded how the country can come together united as one.

Not all experiences with the national anthem are that memorable, nor do they have to be. But each should have the respect of the performer as well as the crowd.

Some of my earliest memories of “The Star-Spangled Banner” came at Spoofhound football games. I remember really cold, dark nights, when my mom would bring these old blankets for us to bundle up in and hot cocoa in an old thermos we had. And I remember the Marching Spoofhounds taking the field and forming an “M” for the football players to run through. And then there was the national anthem. Everyone towering around me stood with their hand over their heart. I would stand up on the bleachers so I could see. And the crowd sang along. They always sang along.

So that’s what I grew up knowing. You always sing the national anthem.

I’ve noticed recently, however, that people aren’t doing that much anymore. I’ve seen it at high school ballgames and during the Olympics. I really loved those US gold-medal athletes who stood atop the podium and actually sang with the music.

But if you choose not to sing along, I can respect your feelings as long as you respect the flag and the anthem. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

I attended a high school basketball game last week and was standing directly across from the teams as local JROTC members presented the colors in the middle of the floor. I stood there singing when I noticed movement just left of the flag.

It was one of the athletes (not from the Nodaway County team), and she was quite distracting. She adjusted the spandex shorts underneath her uniform, first the left leg and then the right. Then she tugged at the left sleeve of her jersey and then the right. And finally, she pulled her headband down, let her hair out of her ponytail, pulled it back up and then readjusted her headband.

I fought hard to concentrate on the song and the words and the flag and what it all meant. And I felt badly for the student singing just a few feet from her.

I did not know the player, but I was embarrassed for her, her family, her school and her community. Had she not learned to be respectful or realize the significance of the national anthem? Or did she just not care?

Regardless, here’s the back story:

After a 25-hour onslaught of Fort McHenry by the British, the early morning light broke through on September 14, 1814, revealing the US flag still flying over the fort. Francis Scott Key looked out from the ship where he had been detained, seeing this sight, and then penned the words that would later become “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

By the 1890s, it had been adopted by US military forces for ceremonial purposes during the raising and lowering of the colors. And it officially became the national anthem in 1931 (The National Museum of American History).

The respect we should show is not just for the national anthem, but also for the flag. According to The Flag Code:

“To salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart….When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music” (usflag.org).

Henry Ward Beecher said: “A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation’s flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth.”

I agree. And I believe the fans of that Boston Bruins game last year demonstrated that to the rest of us.


Hounds defeat Oak Grove to advance to semifinal game

By Jacki Wood, Nodaway News Leader, November 2013

And then there were four.

The Maryville Spoofhounds took one step closer to a return to the Dome on November 16.

The Hounds’ 42-20 win at Oak Grove in the state quarterfinal game makes them one of four teams left in the Class 3 playoffs.

But Head Coach Matt Webb isn’t letting his team get ahead of themselves.

“We talk about one day at a time,” Webb said. “Win the day.”

It’s been a phrase he’s used since the beginning of last year when the Hounds began the historic ride they are currently on – a 28-game winning streak.

And it’s the phrase he’ll continue to use as they head into this weekend’s semifinal game against 12-1 California, a rematch of last year’s semifinal game against the Pintos in which Maryville won 42-7.

“California is a great football team,” Webb said. “We feel like this was a great team we just beat and we know California is going to be just as good.”

Not only did Maryville beat a solid Oak Grove team Saturday, they also did it battling against the wind, which had gusts of 30-40 mph.

The Hounds started the game facing that wind but seemed undeterred by it. After a 53-yard run by junior Brody McMahon, senior quarterback Trent Nally scored on a one-yard keeper to go up 6-0 with 10:54 to go in the first.

Oak Grove responded with a touchdown of its own, but the Hounds blocked the PAT to keep it tied at 6-6 with 5:18 remaining.

On the next drive, Nally fumbled the snap and the Panthers took over at the Maryville 24-yard line. But Oak Grove wasn’t able to capitalize on the turnover and the quarter ended still tied, 6-6.

The Hounds used a big second quarter with the wind at their backs to tack on two touchdowns – a 42-yard pass from Nally to Payden Dawson and a two-yard run by McMahon. The defense also came up big, holding Oak Grove scoreless, to take a 22-6 lead into halftime.

“We were able to score twice with the wind in the second quarter,” Webb said. “And that was huge.”

Oak Grove scored first in the third quarter, but Maryville quickly responded with a 32-yard Nally-to-McMahon TD to make it 28-14 with 7:04 left in the third.

The Panthers and Hounds traded touchdowns once again. Oak Grove scored with 4:21 left to make it a 28-10 game. Then with just over a minute to go, Nally found the end zone from 13 yards out, and a two-point conversion by McMahon put Maryville up 36-20.

Maryville’s defense responded again in the fourth quarter. With 7:13 left in the game, the Hounds held Oak Grove on 4th and 13 to regain possession. The offense put together a long drive and Nally added his fifth score of the game. His one-yard rushing touchdown put the Hounds up 42-20 with 2:53 remaining, which would hold as the final score.

“That was two very good football teams, laying it on the line,” Webb said. “That’s what playoff football is. I’m just very proud of the character and effort of our young men.”

Nally was 5-6 passing for 137 yards and two TDs. He also had 11 rushes for 45 yards and three TDs.

McMahon carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards and one touchdown. Dakota Beemer had 10 rushes for 64 yards and Dawson added six rushes for 20 yards.

Adam Thompson had two receptions for 43 yards, Dawson had one catch for 42 yards and a touchdown, McMahon had one catch for 32 yards and a touchdown and Beemer had one reception for 20 yards.

Chris Dougan led the defense with 13.5 tackles. Nally and Elijah Green each had 9.5 tackles, followed by John Schenkel with 6.5 and Dawson and McMahon with five each. Dalton Pistole added 3.5 tackles, Adam Thompson had three, Jackson Morrison had 2.5 and Brendan Weybrew added two.

With the win, the Hounds advance to the state semifinal game at California on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm.


Concordia’s comeback falls short

By Jacki Wood, Sports Editor, written for The Concordian

After a turnover-laden first half, the Concordia Orioles turned things around in Friday’s home opener against the Higginsville Huskers. But it wasn’t quite enough as the Orioles lost 42-26.

“Turnovers in the first half dug a hole that was difficult to overcome,” Concordia head coach Tom Gramates said. “We went into a funk in the first quarter. But we were able to pull ourselves out of it.”

Concordia turned the ball over four times in the half – two fumbles and an interception in the first quarter and another interception in the second quarter – and Higginsville capitalized, scoring after each one.

The Class 2 Huskers entered the game after going undefeated during the regular season last year with a nice playoff run.

“We knew that Higginsville was a quality team and we had our hands full,” Gramates said. “Yet I believe, and our players believe, we could have won the game had we taken care of the little things.”

With three minutes left in the first quarter and the Huskers leading 20-0, Concordia put together a solid drive down to the 17-yard line to end the quarter. Continuing that drive as the second started, quarterback Austin Hon ran it in for the Orioles’ first TD of the game. Cass Heimsoth completed the two-point conversion to make it a 20-8 game with 10:34 left in the half.

The Huskers responded quickly to go up 28-8 where the score remained at halftime.

A couple of turnovers by both teams to start the third quarter made it seem as though the turnovers would be the story of the night.

But the Orioles had other things in mind.

Late in the third, Heimsoth and Cory Meineka put together several long runs down to the Husker seven-yard line. Meineka scored on a shovel pass from Hon to bring the score to 28-14 with three minutes left.

And after a strong defensive stand and a muffed punt recovered by the Orioles, the momentum quickly moved into Concordia’s favor.

With 19.6 seconds left in the third, a 32-yard touchdown pass to Beydler made it a 28-20 game.

Continuing their comeback, Concordia recovered a fumbled kickoff, and on the first play of the fourth quarter, they scored again on a 30-yard pass from Hon to Beydler, making it a 28-26 game with 11:53 left in the game.

“It was a fun game with a lot of emotion and heroic play by our guys,” Gramates said. “It was kind of like riding the back roads on an eighth of a tank of gas. You know you’re going to run out and eventually end up walking.”

Down by two, the Orioles weren’t quite ready to get out and walk home just yet.

They caused another fumble on the kickoff and recovered it to take over at the Huskers’ 48-yard line at the 11:51 mark.

But on the first pass of the drive, Higginsville intercepted a pass by Hon. And after a couple of big defensive stops by both teams, the Huskers scored with 7:09 to go to make it 35-26.

Higginsville began running the ball well – and the clock out – late in the fourth. They scored one final time with 1:22 left, ending Concordia’s comeback and the game, with a final score of 42-26.

“This group will improve, no doubt about it,” Gramates said. “The character they displayed Friday night was exceptional. I was really excited to see the emotion we played with (and) the attitude of playing together.”

Gramates said Higginsville made a point of taking Heimsoth out of the passing game, which allowed other receivers to have good games.

“We found a couple of really good players that were question marks,” he said. “Austin Beydler was a great compliment to Cass Heimsoth on the other side. He had an outstanding game. Jordan Schuelter also came up big with some key catches.”

With quality receivers and a solid quarterback, Gramates said they have a more diverse threat than last year.

“I don’t know the last time a Concordia team threw the ball for 277 yards in a competitive game,” he said. “It showed us a lot.”

Gramates said the Orioles started five linemen that had not played “a meaningful down in varsity football,” and while they made mistakes, he said he believes they will get better.

He was also impressed by the defensive play of Meineka and Layne Baldwin.

“They are the heart and soul of the defense right now,” he said.

The extreme heat, which caused the game to be pushed back an hour, also caused some issues with cramping. The Orioles also suffered a couple of injuries including Andy Galloway, the team’s kicker.

“Had we been able to kick the PATs in the second half,” Gramates said, “we would have taken the lead in the fourth quarter.”

Hon finished the game 15-34 passing for 245 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions. Beydler had seven receptions for 128 yards. Meineka had 14 carries for 75 yards and Heimsoth had six carries for 48 yards.

Baldwin led the team in tackles with eight solo, one assisted and three tackles for loss. Hon has six solo and two assisted, Meineka had three solo, three assisted, one tackle for loss and one sack and Patrick Hastings had three solo, one assisted, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.

The Orioles are back in action this Friday at home against Orrick.


Fall 2013 Sports Preview

I just finished my first high school sports preview. It features the I-70 Conference football and volleyball teams. In addition to writing all of the stories, I also did the design…my first time doing an entire section. I have a greater appreciation for those who’ve gone before me. Lots of work. But so much fun.

http://issuu.com/the_concordian/docs/fall_sports_2013_concordian