Where Barbara Mandrel was country when country wasn't cool :I was a runner when running was yet to be cool.I played football my freshman year of high school but the summer between my freshman and sophomore years my family moved to a town that didn't have football.With the Idea of playing football in college I decided that bailing hay in the summers and track in the spring would be my training plan .I did ok at track,had the school record in the 440yd but my junior year they came out with cross country and compared to flat out for a quarter mile It seemed almost easy.
My junior year I ran pretty much 2nd or 3rd on our team although we didn't do to well as a team,first year and all. I had a close friend(Iwas dating his sister) Jim Preston--Built like a runner about 6ft 2inches and a long stride:We started training together---Every morning at six I,d get up put my weights on my ankles,Pair of cutoffs and run up to the school,where I would meet jim--And we would run two miles crawl in the school basement window take a shower,go home and get ready for school.Then after school back on with the weights and another two miles .The only time I ran without weights was at a meet.And I started getting better I was beating Jim and soon beating the Senior that had dominated up to that point.By my senior year I had my training down pat Jim had graduated but when cross country time came around said you ready Ill meet you in the morning. So we ran: me with my weights jim right along with me.I won the first meet of the year ,then the second third fourth,I developed a trade mark kick at the last 50yds that was pretty close to a 50 yd sprint It was very demoralizing to the guys I would blow by to go on for the win.I ended up undefeated for the entire year up until the last meet. It was with Coldwater and coach told me their best runner ran 2nd at state last year.When we walked up to the start he came over to wish me luck;I was totally unprepared as his n6ft 6 frame said good luck son to my 5ft 8inch halfback looking self.He totally physiqued me out.Would you believe I finished third---Because I fell into the trap of thinking I couldn't beat him.In reality If I had run my normal time I would have beaten him but I didn't.The only reason I excelled was the fact that
I had a goal--To play college football---
I trained 120%
I never quit
I didn't know a short guy couldn't excel at cross country.
The year was 1967 I went on to play football at Heidleburg college as a walk on and un like Rudy I played
My cross country school record time still stands today after 40 years