The Early Lead: Pride produces heroes
By BRANDON HURLEY
Football took a backseat Sunday afternoon, and deservedly so.
Yes, a championship was being decided on the gridiron, but a celebration of a compassionate community member was the main event.
We hear it all the time, sports are often more than that.
We learn from what others do off the field more than how they play on it or how good of a play-caller they are.
The latest tale of heroics comes from the youth football fields.
If you look closely, as we’ve covered previously this fall, the Greene County football program’s generosity is far reaching. The players have put in hundreds of hours of service. But to build character in young men, you must also put in the work yourself, as coaches.
That notion has even gravitated down to the sixth grade football team.
While Shawn Scheuermann’s son was busy winning a championship on the Jefferson Rams, he was packing his bags and heading down to Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.
Scheuermann, the sixth grade defensive coordinator, departed last month as part of his military deployment and is stationed there until Thanksgiving. It’s a selfless act that has resonated all the way up the ranks and even received some news coverage over the weekend.
It’s times like these when we realize, even at the rural Iowa level, picking someone up when they are down is more important than victories.
Just ask Greene County varsity coach Mitch Moore and he’ll tell you what Scheuermann’s efforts have done for the county and the image of the football program.
“It says a lot about his character as a community member and a citizen of the United States of America, to go down and sacrifice in a dangerous place just to help others” Moore said.
The first-year head coach is a big believer in developing football athletes all throughout the community, even down to the youth level. He wants the program to be all encompassing. And part of the requirement to become a Ram is putting others before yourself.
For Scheuermann’s efforts, he’s become the perfect role model.
“He is another one of those guys in our program that epitomizes what we want kids and coaches to be like,” Moore said. “It’s putting people above yourself. That’s how he lives his life, sacrifice, honor and helping people around him to make the community better.
Moore continued, “He’s a guy, if you want something done, he’s there for you. He loves the youth, he loves this community. He’s certainly a guy we want people to look up to.”
The Jefferson sixth grade squad went undefeated this fall, winning the Western Iowa Division championship, outscoring its opponents by more than 200 points. Scheuermann’s son, Gavin, even intercepted a pass in Sunday’s championship game, putting an exclamation point on a season dedicated to his father.
The victory, the rescue efforts of Scheuermann and the impact he’s had on the community will resonate for years to come.
Football was an after thought even as pads smacked against each other Sunday, and coach Moore was more than OK with that.
“There’s a lot of pride in our program right now,” the coach said. “More than anything, I’m thankful to be around people like that, people who understand there are things more important than football. Above all, it’s about sacrifice, putting others in front of yourself.
I love the fact that we have guys like Shawn, it shows a lot of our character.”