The Legacy of Coach Schuckman

Posted by KAKE Shane Ewing on Monday, January 16, 2017

This video was shot by Shane Ewing of KAKE Sports out of Wichita.

The real reason to coach young people starts at about half way through.

It was a pleasure working with Coach Schuckman back when I would contact coaches for team information in preseason for the magazine Kansas Pregame. He had great preseason information ready to go and all you had to do was ask for it. Always very detailed and up to date.

Doing Just Fine

Ten years ago, when we first started the Kansas Pregame magazine, my job was to contact football coaches for their team capsules and get the coaches thoughts on the upcoming season. Since I was not trained as a newspaper or magazine journalist and had never been one, my interviews were probably unorthodoxed.

Now at that point of my life, I had been on the radio as a part-time broadcaster of football and basketball games for about fifteen years. So I had interviewed coaches post game on the radio in moments of joy, sadness and anger. My thoughts on interviews were always as though I had just met someone new and wanted to make a friend. I would ask if they were married, had kids and how did they meet their wife and of course about their football teams.

What I learned about football coaches, during those years of interviews, was most football coaches don’t beat around the bush. They told me exactly what they thought about their teams, their competitors and media personnel. Lots of them would say after that, “Now you are not going to print that are you?” My response was always, “No sir that will never be in print. Nor will I tell anyone.” Direct, straight forward and telling it exactly how it was.

One day, during an interview on the phone, with a head football coach, who I had interviewed for the past couple of years, when I asked him how was the wife and kids? The coach said, “We are separated.” The coach told me it had just recently happened and he was crushed. He didn’t get to wake up in the same house as his children and he was hurting.

What do you say to someone who is hurt? Who is angry? Who doesn’t know what to do next?

In our society today many men are hurting. Someone asks us, “How are you doing?” And our answer is, “Just fine.” The reality is you are addicted to porn, drink too much, work too much and are bored at church, but you are “Just fine.” As men we hide our real feelings and thoughts just to get along and not rock the boat.

So what is the answer for men? Lots of men see church as a place for women and children. To be honest, a lot of churches are for women and children. The programs are all geared for the women and children. After a certain age the boys look around and see that Dad is not present and so he tells Mom, “I am not going to church anymore, because Dad doesn’t go.”

Let me give you a thought. Jesus said he came to serve and not to be served. Jesus was a man. So our job as men is to serve. How can you serve the church?

Most women love to cook, they don’t like to wash dishes. Go wash dishes after church dinners. Carry the full trash receptacles after those dinners at church to the dumpster. Go mow the church lawn. When it snows, go get your shovel and move snow at your church and any other church close to you. Go pull weeds in and around your church. Go to the local thrift store and tell them if they have heavy stuff to move or want hauled to the dump or recycle, here is my phone number, call me.

Take other men and boys with you when you are serving the church in physical ways. Once you start to do this work together you will have something in common and then you might be able to start sharing thoughts with one another. Just being able to talk about things with other men and the women not being present will do you all good.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Ron the Teddy Bear

The rumors started the minute Ron moved to town from North Dakota. He was a big kid, 6’3” and 275 pounds and would be a junior in high school. Someone had seen him and said he was going to make a great addition to our football team. All of us on the football team knew we were going to have a great football team that fall and this big new kid was just going to make us a little better.

That August, when football actually started, there was no big new kid on the team. Everyone was asking, “Where is the new kid or was that just some rumor someone started?” Well football two-a-days started before school did, so when school began, there was this new guy named Ron from North Dakota and he was every bit of 6’3” and 275. The only problem was, he didn’t go out for football that year.

We razed Ron all that school year and the next summer about coming out for football. First day of practice in 1972, Ron was out for football with us. We were excited to have him and told him so. When we finally put on the pads and started hitting each other in drills, we could all tell Ron was not real aggressive. We asked him why he wasn’t hitting anybody real hard? His answer was, “I am afraid I am going to hurt one of you guys.” We told him over and over, “You can’t hurt us.”

Ron became our nose guard on defense. He owned the territory he stood on and even double teams by the other team could not move him away. But he was not aggressive and never got a push into the backfield and never could go down the line of scrimmage to make a play. He just owned the space he stood on.

So one night at practice, after the first or second game, we were doing a tackling drill where the ball carrier had to run between two dummies lying on the ground and the tackler stood on the other end of the dummies. We each had been through this drill a couple of times this day when it was Ron’s turn to be a tackler again. This time the head coach got angry and got up in Ron’s face and I guess I should say, challenged Ron’s manhood. Where I was standing, I could see Ron’s face flush red and he got angry. I could see this perfectly fine, because I was the next ball carrier.

As coach blew the whistle, I started forward with the ball and Ron and I met in the middle of those dummies. Ron hit me hard, wrapped me up and bear hugged me. He then picked me up off the ground and body slammed me into the ground landing flat on top of me. When he got off me, I just laid there a moment and did a quick body scan to see if I was injured. I was hurting, but nothing was broken. I got up and with a two handed chest pass threw the ball at the coach angrily and said, “Thanks a lot Coach.” Coach had this stunned look on his face. I don’t think it was because I threw the ball hard at him. He was stunned, that Ron the Teddy Bear, had finally hit someone.

The rest of the season Ron never hit anyone like he hit me, whether at practice or in a game. Eventually, the coaches took him out of the starting lineup and changed to a four-man front with two safeties and that was when I became a starter on defense at one of those safety positions.

Ron died of heart problems the first part of December this year. The next day another one of my high school classmates died in Texas during a car wreck. The week after that, at a basketball game, one of my other classmates and teammates came up to me and said, “Can you believe we lost two classmates in two days?” I said, “As old as we are getting, our turn could be next. So you better get it right with Jesus.” He then said, “It is funny you said that, because the local doctors want me to go to Wichita next week and see a specialist. They think I have cancer.” He then said, “Doesn’t that make about 20 of our classmates we have lost out of our 116 graduates?” I answered, “Yes.”

Final Rankings and Super Champion


Our final rankings of the football season are below. One of the reasons we do a final ranking of the year is to crown a Super Top Ten Overall Champion for the entire state of Kansas. The Kansas Media Team, with their final vote, puts the Derby Panthers as the Super Top Ten Overall State Champion of Kansas.

In our preseason rankings, which can be looked up here on our website, had Derby, Mill Valley, Bishop Miege, Holcomb, Rossville, Smith Center, Spearville and Hanover as the number one teams to start the season. So we guessed right on 5 of 8 teams to begin the season.

All I can say is, high school football is getting too predictable on who is going to win next year. The football season would be more fun if we had more teams like Pratt, who was not ranked at all in any preseason rankings, win the championship.

Seriously now, we go from Silver Lake going to like 11 out of 12 state championship games in a row, to their neighbor, six miles away, winning three state championships in a row. For years people have said the East is weak in Class 3A and the road to the championship is tougher out West. I say the heck with that. The rest of the state needs to find out what Silver Lake and Rossville are doing and do the same!

As always, we need to thank the Kansas Media Ranking Team which is below. These are the guys and gals that are the real meat and potatoes of this ranking system and we could not do it without them. So thank you to all of our team for giving back to the greatest game man ever invented, which is football at the high school level.

Super Top 10 All-Classes
1.  Derby
2.  Blue Valley
3.  Bishop Miege
4.  Shawnee Mission East
5.  Mill Valley
6.  Goddard
7.  Free State
8.  Aquinas
9.  Hutchinson
12.Great Bend
13.Blue Valley North
14.Olathe South
15.Wichita Heights

1. Derby
2. Blue Valley
3. Shawnee Mission East
4. Free State
5. Hutchinson
Others: Blue Valley North, Olathe South, Manhattan

1. Mill Valley
2. Goddard
3. Aquinas
4. Great Bend
5. Wichita Heights
Others: Topeka Seaman, Bishop Carroll

4A D-I
1. Bishop Miege
2. Buhler
3. Basehor-Linwood
4. Maize South
5. McPherson
Others: Mulvane

1. Pratt
2. Holcomb
3. Hayden
4. Holton
5. Frontenac
Others: Scott City, Wichita Collegiate

1. Rossville
2. Hesston
3. Nemaha Central
4. Hoisington
5. Silver Lake
Others: Phillipsburg, Sabetha

1. Troy
2. Plainville
3. Smith Center
4. Colgan
5. Washington County
Others: Lyndon

8-man D-I
1. Osborne
2. St Francis
3. Spearville
4. Burlingame
5. Central Plains
Others: none

8-man D-II
1. Hanover
2. Dighton
3. Pike Valley
4. Wallace County
5. Beloit-St John
Others: South Barber

New members of the Ranking team for 2016
Taylor Eldridge Wichita Eagle Wichita
Bob Davidson Salina Journal Salina

Long time Ranking team members
Brent Maycock Topeka Capital Journal Topeka
Rich Epp OpenSpacesSports Colby
Justin Fluke KNZA Hiawatha
Kirk Seminoff Wichita Eagle Wichita
Dusty Deines KDNS Beloit
Conor Nichol Northwest Kansas Sports Hays
Jim Misunas Great Bend Tribune Great Bend
Adam Kadavy KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Brock Kappelmann KSCB Liberal
Tim McGonagle KSKL Scott City/Garden City
Tim Hostetter Prep Power Index & Salina Journal
BrettMarshall Garden City Telegram Garden City
Rocky Downing KFRM 550 AM
Mike Smith KMZA Seneca
Eddie Lomshek KKOW Pittsburg
Pat Strathman KSAL Salina
Bobby Nightengale Lawrence Journal-World Lawrence
Brad Hallier Hutchinson News Hutchinson

Football Vocabulary


The vocabulary of a football team is very different from those who have never played the game. Years ago, I was an Emergency Medical Technician standing on the sidelines of a junior high, seventh grade, football game. During the game, the coach called a time out and the team huddled around him.

The coach started describing what he wanted the defense to do, when they went back out on the football field, after the time out. But the coach was only receiving blank looks on the faces of his players, as he talked. Finally, he said to them, “Does anybody understand what I am talking about?” Some of the kids said no, but most of them just shook their heads no.

Going to church, for a visitor or a new Christian, can be just as intimidating, as a bunch of kids that don’t know what the coach is talking about, during a time out, in a football game.

Don’t just invite new people to church, take them with you. You can also tell them you will wait for them at the front door. Then sit with them. Show them the books in the pews and what they are used for. Help them find the hymns that will be sung that day and the scripture readings.

Some people that have never been to church won’t know where to find John 3:16 or any other scripture. They also won’t know where to take their kids or where the bathrooms are. Help them.

That junior high football coach was way over his football player’s heads that day, when trying to tell them what to do. But to his credit, after the player’s said no, we don’t get it, he simplified real quick and the kids went back in the game and did what he said.

When you see that blank look, from people new to church, jump in and help them and keep it simple.


Danforth Chapel


It is tough to read this sign, from my picture, inside Danforth Chapel on the Kansas State University campus but it is worth reading. Danforth Chapel was built in 1949 with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Danforth. It was dedicated to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to honor K-State war casualties, and is a popular venue for weddings.

To honor Veterans Day, November 11th. Let me encourage you to go to the chapel and take a moment to honor our war casualties and honor God. The sign says:

The Danforth Chapel Dedicated to the Worship of God with the Prayer that here, in Communion with the Highest, those who enter may acquire the Spiritual Power to Aspire Nobly, Adventure Daringly, Serve Humbly.

If you click on the picture it will open a new window and is better for reading.