I’ll write more later. Church is coming up and I don’t want the front bench, but, here’s a link to an article written by Tim Gallegher in the Sioux City Journal. Enjoy……
Here’s the version cut and pasted if the link doesn’t work……..
Defenders earn first football victory
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Coach John Heavner gathered his Dordt Defenders seconds after a dramatic 17-14 victory over Concordia University in Sioux Center on Saturday.
He asked his players to exercise judgment in celebrating. He reminded them of their academic tasks and noted a breakfast check at 7:30 a.m. Monday.
And then he prayed for the health of Concordia players and asked God to watch them home safely.
Heavner then dismissed his bunch to a spot beneath the scoreboard. “We’re going to get a team picture right under that board,” he said.
This game was special. It was Dordt’s first college football victory. As in ever. The program, after all, began only two years ago. Dordt played junior varsity ball last fall. The Defenders were 0-5 coming into Saturday’s contest.
“It feels great, I can hardly describe what it feels like,” said Morgan Halpert a reserve linebacker who drove 900 miles from his home near Fort Worth, Texas, to attend the small college in Sioux Center.
“I take a lot of pride in being a Defender. It’s a unique experience to be part of the literal foundation of a program,” he added.
There are thousands of young men and women like Halpert participating in college sports across the nation. To me, they represent the meaning of collegiate athletics.
Halpert, a sophomore, recently lost his starting job. Did he pout? No way. He sang the praises of his replacement and kept encouraging all 11 defensive starters from his spot on the sidelines.
“I might see my playing time diminish, but that’s because my replacement, Phillip Sears, is really playing well,” said Halpert. “I’m not real upset about it; it’s a team game.”
I couldn’t help but think of Iowa State quarterback Phillip Bates as Halpert spoke to me. Bates quit the Cyclones team this week, upset over lost playing time. Rather than stick it out and help the team, he vanished.
Both Sears and Halpert hail from Texas, part of the 25-player contingent that comes from the “Lone Star State” to Dordt.
An admissions director with Dordt told me there are 31 native Texans on campus this fall, 25 of them football players. Until football began here two years ago, Dordt generally welcomed three to five Texans into the student body.
So, how has a player from just outside Fort Worth, Texas, found Sioux Center to his liking?
“You make your own fun here,” Halpert said. “Generally, we go see movies or do a bonfire.”
You also study. Halpert has compared notes with his older sister, a student at Texas Tech University. He contends Dordt is more “academically rigorous” than Tech.
When is the last time you heard a football player say, “academically rigorous?”
This business major has rigors outside the classroom as well. Besides tackling his football assignments, Halpert is a third baseman for the Defenders in baseball.
He’d like to marry those interests someday by working for a minor league baseball team in the front office. His dream job? “I’d like to be general manager for the Texas Rangers baseball team,” he said.
With his attitude, and the positive environment he’s enjoying at Dordt, I could see him doing it. After all, who could see a kid from Texas helping put Dordt football on the map?
A couple of years ago, he’d never heard of Dordt. He’d never heard of Sioux Center.
On Saturday, he and his Defender teammates — Texans and non-Texans alike — couldn’t have been happier. They were all smiles after registering Victory No. 1.
“I couldn’t imagine myself being anywhere else,” said the backup linebacker.
And with that, Morgan Halpert and his Defenders raced off the field. They had autographs to sign.