Tag Archive | college football

Building A Legacy

“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

I LOVE this quote.  I first heard it from the movie The Sandlot (which is a MUST SEE if you haven’t..) and I’ve always held onto it, even naming my fledgling college video production company ‘Legend Productions’.  To me, it always meant to push harder, to do a little more, to build a legacy that will be extend long past your physical life.

This weekend on KETV Chronicle, our Rob McCartney interviewed coach, Congressman, athletic director and mentor Dr. Tom Osborne.  He is a Hall of Fame college football coach, one of the most respected in the history of the game.  He won his congressional district with an astounding 83-percent of the vote.  He stepped in to the Nebraska Athletics’ office at a time of fan unrest and turmoil and ‘righted the ship’ according to many sports experts.

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But when Rob asked  ‘T.O.’ how he would define a successful life, Osborne said he hoped to be defined by the relationships created through the Teammates mentoring program he founded, not just by what was accomplished on the football field.

” That ripple effect on down through history is your legacy,” Osborne told Rob. “Trophies tarnish, rings get thrown in the trash can and records, if you think about it, who was a great coach 90-years ago?  You hear a few names but you don’t remember those guys anymore, and that’ll be the same thing with me and other people.  But that ripple effect, the influence you had on people, that will continue on down through many generations.”

CLICK HERE to watch Rob McCartney’s exclusive interview with Dr. Tom Osborne on KETV Chronicle.

Rob has interviewed Osborne numerous times throughout the years, developing mutual respect and friendship through that relationship, and this answer stood out for Rob and many of us who watched Chronicle.  Of everything Dr. Tom Osborne has accomplished, MENTORING is one of the things he’s proudest of.

She may separated by distance, time and experience from Osborne.. but that desire to make an impact on people is mutual for 16-year old Grace Heggem.

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Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography

“Spending time with a child even just once a week and getting to know them can really inspire them to set and achieve goals of their own,” Grace told me recently.  She’s promoting mentoring across Scottsbluff as Miss Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen, after an experience with a classmate two years ago.

“One of the girls in my class had confessed to us that she had been depressed lately and the previous weekend had suicidal thoughts,” said Grace.  “She said that that week I had come up and talked to her and that simple act had made her feel like someone cared and was one of the reasons she was still here.  I immediately broke down and later realized the impact simple acts can have.  Sometimes all people need is to know that someone cares.”

And it was a mentor who led Grace to the path she is currently on to compete for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.  Her childhood babysitter was Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan, who encouraged her to try a pageant when Grace was 13.

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“I loved it!” said Grace.  “The entire process is a great confidence booster and the interview/people skills can really be beneficial in the future.  These pageants bring about personal development.  I have seen for myself the positive changes they bring about for young women.  I’ts not always about the end result, it’s about who you become in the process.”

 Grace is quick to note she’s not just a ‘pageant queen’.  She is president of the sophomore class at Scottsbluff High School, vice president of Key Club (focusing on community service), a member of National Honor Society, she plays varsity volleyball, she’s involved in her school’s upcoming musical, she’s a dancer and she plays piano.

Grace credits her work ethic, the ‘5am-6pm way of life’ as she calls it, to her parents, a quality she says would make her a great state representative.

“I am diverse and involved in a wide variety of activities which makes me personable and able to reach a greater amount of people in my state,” said Grace.  “My grandpa is a rancher so I understand and can definitely appreciate that major element of what makes Nebraska.  As my dad is the owner of a construction business, I understand the value of hard work.”

That family unit is also Grace’s top priority.

“My mom is my number one supporter no matter what, my best friend, and the person I laugh with the most,” said Grace.  “My dad has always supported me in everything I did and always encourages me.  My brothers are my best buds whether we’re watching football, laughing, or even arguing.  Growing up with three brothers, I never played with barbies or dolls because we were too busy playing with Nerf guns or wrestling. (I totally won by the way.)”

Neither pageants nor any other outside influence is likely to change those core values for Grace, who notes her biggest role model is Duck Dynasty star and devout Christian Sadie Robertson.

“I really respect her because she’s in a business where her values aren’t necessarily prevalent but she still stays true to them,” said Grace.  “She is different but she embraces it and by doing this inspires others to not be afraid to be themselves either.  That is something I definitely admire and try to do myself.”

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And whether Grace Heggem is signing autographs or volunteering for the Children’s Miracle Network, she hopes to inspire her fellow pageant contestants (the girls she now calls her friends), to join her in the mission SHE embraces.

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“If I were to become Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen I would like to create a mentoring program using our Nebraska titleholders!” said Grace.  “Pageant queens absolutely have the potential to be mentors in their communities.  It’s crazy to me how a little girl’s eyes light up when they see and talk to a ‘princess’ with a crown on her head.’

And while Grace Heggem has a lot to be proud of.. being featured in her local paper, playing piano for crowds of hundreds, being elected a leader by her fellow students and peers.. that impact through mentoring is the legacy she wants to leave behind.

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Tom Osborne’s players have gone on to do amazing things (CLICK HERE to read a few in my Throwback Thursday Husker series!).  Those young men, and the people Osborne mentored have passed on those life lessons to their children, and kids THEY’VE mentored.  If the little girl smiling above with Grace goes on to mentor someone, and SHE goes on to mentor someone, that cycle of positive influence will continue long beyond what two people remember; it becomes a legacy.  That is Grace Heggem’s goal on her way to compete for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.. the sparkly crown is just a bonus.

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CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen 2016 Grace Heggem

on FACEBOOK, and on INSTAGRAM

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GRACE?

CLICK HERE * 2015 * Amazing Grace

CLICK HERE * 2014 * Nebraska’s Outstanding Teens

For more information about the Miss Western Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, visit THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE.  For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Kyla Ansley at 308-631-0938 or by email at kyla_ansley@hotmail.com.  You can also email thirtyone.hayes@yahoo.com.

For more information on becoming a Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen contestant, contact Director Heather Edwards at heatheraloseke@gmail.com or Director Kali Tripp at kalinicoletv@gmail.com.

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The 2016 Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen Pageant takes place June 10 in North Platte, Nebraska.  Learn more on THEIR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK PAGE, or follow ON TWITTER and ON INSTAGRAM.

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PREVIOUS.. Miss Kool-Aid Days 2016 Chelsea Arnold!

NEXT.. Miss Douglas County 2016 Savannah Rave!

To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!

Lords Of The Rings

Usually, I try to start each blog post with something clever, witty, catching.

Today, all I need is this.

two rings

The guy in orange is Bill Kosch.  The guy in black is Jesse Kosch.  They are father and son.  And they are wearing ALL FIVE of Nebraska Football’s National Championship rings.

As I put together these Huskers Throwback Thursday stories over the last two months, I’ve heard about the Kosch family several times from both viewers and former players.  Having fathers, sons and other family members all play for Nebraska happens often (check out my Throwback to Bo & Barrett Ruud!), but to have two involved in ALL of Nebraska’s championships?!?

“I think somebody was like, ‘are you the only father/son to have all the championship rings?'” said Jesse, during a recent trip back to Lincoln.  “I was like, ‘well, maybe!'”

Click here to check out KETV’s Huskers Throwback Thursday feature on Bill & Jesse Kosch!

No doubt this is special.  It’s no coincidence either; these two produced REMARKABLE numbers while at Nebraska.

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Bill Kosch played for Nebraska in the Devaney Era, the starting defensive back on both the 1970 and 1971 teams.  This photo shows Kosch, #24, intercepting the ball against Texas A&M in 1971. (Thanks to fanbase.com for the photo!)  He played in both national championship games and the Game of the Century.  His favorite game, however, was during his junior year, playing USC at the Coliseum in 1970.  USC was then ranked #3 and Nebraska had largely been ignored by the national media.

“Playing under the lights in Los Angeles, I picked off Jimmy Jones in the end zone,” Bill told KETV’s Andrew Ozaki last week.  “Wasn’t exactly sure where I was, I brought it out to the 25-yard line.  We didn’t win the game but we didn’t lose it either, a 21-21 tie.  We got a lot of notoriety out of it, and it kind of got us going toward #1 in the 1970 season.”

Click here to watch Bill Kosch’s interception, thanks to Jake Jacobsen and HuskerTapes.com!

As for Bill Kosch’s favorite championship; it’s the first one his son, Jesse, won for the 1994 title against Miami.

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The now iconic image of players lifting Coach Tom Osborne off the field after winning the 1994 National Title, Osborne’s first.  Thanks to Nebraska Athletics for the photo!

“It’s just so dramatic.  So rewarding.  It’s so relieving, so tense,” said Bill, who watched the game over again in the days leading up to this year’s matchup between Nebraska and Miami.  “We just shut ’em up.  And it was terrific.”

Jesse clearly remembers those moments being behind 10-0, a deficit Nebraska cut to 10-7 by halftime.  He remembers the now legendary Tom Osborne speech in the locker room that inspired his team to capture the title.

“To come from behind and win it the way we did, FINALLY, was very rewarding,” said Jesse.  “A lot of us were walk-ons from Nebraska.  You get there and you learn a lot from the guys who have been there a year or two before you.  You just keep kind of passing that along.”

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When you add that year’s totals to ’95, ’96 and ’97, punter Jesse Kosch accrued 4,234 yards in 101 kicks at Nebraska.  He’s still on three of the Huskers’ record lists; for Top 10 Longest Punts (74-yards), Top 10 Season Punting Average (44.7) and Top 10 Careers Punting Average (41.92).

One of Jesse’s proudest moments came in his last game as a Husker, playing Tennessee for the 1997 national championship.

“I was like, ‘oh, boy’, standing with your back to the end zone with 20,000 orange people yelling at you,” described Jesse.  “I had one of my best punts of my career right there.”

There is no shortage of football talk at the Kosch dinner table during family reunions.  (I’m guessing KETV Lincoln Bureua Chief Andrew Ozaki could’ve stayed there talking football all day!)  Father and son had a few days for that last weekend; Jesse took part in the Tunnel Walk last Saturday paying tribute to the 1994 team.  He then headed back to work in Colorado, running his Husker merchandise store, Big Red of the Rockies, in Estes Park, Colorado.

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Thanks to Big Red of the Rockies for the photo!

One viewer who contacted us said: “Jesse is a true Nebraskan with his hospitality and generosity.  For example, he opens his door up to my family to come watch the games in the store when we are in town.  Also, he will take all the time he can to talk with Husker fans when they come into the store and reminisce about the current and past Husker teams.”

The Bill and Jesse Kosch say their history is just fun to talk about; again, it’s special.  Bill Kosch wants to make sure people know his teammates Jerry List and Joe Blahak each had sons on those 1990’s teams.  But no other duo has all five rings like Bill and Jesse do.

“You think, wow,” said Jesse.  “We were part of something that so far, has never been duplicated.”

During our interview, a precious little blonde with gorgeous, big eyes climbed up onto Jesse’s lap.  As a mom myself, I’m guessing she’s more into Sophia or Dora than Ameer or Kenny. Should we dare to dream of ANOTHER championship ring in the Kosch family?

“This is little Tatum,” said Jesse.  “She kicks the soccer ball around pretty good!”

Mark your calendars; Tatum will be Husker Football eligible in 2030.

For more information about Big Red of the Rockies, visit their website, on Facebook and on YouTube.

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CLICK HERE to Throwback to the Class of 2007, Corey McKeon!

Next week’s Throwback Thursday.. Class of 1971 Larry Jacobson!