Win The Day!


A special thanks to Brian Bazata for all of the pictures that appear in this post…

The last time that the Cozad Haymaker Football Team brought home the State Championship title was the fall of 1991.  Twenty two years later, the Pitchfork Nation is rolling with a 12-0 record.  Our Boys of Fall head to the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium Tuesday to realize a community wide dream.

Congratulations to Coach Brian Cargill and his staff for inspiring our kids to greatness!

Congratulations to Coach Brian Cargill and his staff for inspiring our kids to greatness!

The 2013 Haymaker football players were young children when Matt and I moved to Cozad in 1997.  I remember watching many of them play catch with a football on the sidelines while their dads played flag football on a local recreation team with my favorite farmer.  Those years began the changing of the guard as one era of Haymaker players hung up their cleats and another learned a passion for the game.

Go Big C!

Go Big C!

The mantra for this year’s season is Win the Day.  I have watched these young men systematically dominate the competition one game at a time.  They play with heart—they play with pride—they play with brotherhood—they play to win.  Their confidence is contagious and they have turned our community into a family of believers.haymakerfootball6

The heart of a small town is its youth.  The community binds together to nurture its young people, and in return, the younger generation sparks optimism and creates sustainability for the town.  It is a beautiful partnership and one of the things that I love most about rural America.haymakerfootball5

When the Haymakers take the field each day, they know that they represent not just themselves but also the rest of the 4000 people that live in Cozad.  When they Win the Day, they bring not just victory but also hope for the future.  Each performance on game day demonstrates that hard work and faith are the foundations of successful teams—and successful communities.

Our boys of fall...

Our boys of fall…

My heart swells with pride as I watch these young men discover that Excellence is not an act, but a habit.

I am reminded that with each touchdown and sack that are made on the field, the heart of our town becomes just a little bit bigger and the future of our community simultaneously becomes just a little bit brighter.  Today I give a special shout out to the members of the 2013 Haymaker Football Team.haymakerfootball3

Thank you for all of your hard work and inspiration.  Be true to yourselves and play with pride.  I look forward to watching you Win the Day both Tuesday in Lincoln and each day for the rest of your lives!

Go Haymakers!


Filed under General, Rural Communities

7 responses to “Win The Day!

  1. Dawn

    Your town is about the same size as ours and we feel the same pride and hope and promise. We just opened a new high school in the fall of 2009. These kids forged a new road, a new identity. My youngest son was in the first graduating class. We were so proud to watch these kids grow up and break away from the identity of their previous high school and make their own path as a new high school community. And Friday night football is the social event of the town. I love being part of a small town.

    • I am glad that you could identify with the blog post, Dawn. I agree that watching our communities’ kids grow up and spread their wings is one of life’s greatest blessings. Just like you, I love “small town” life!

      It’s good to hear from you,

  2. Sally Gibson

    Great post Anne. Love, Mom

  3. Robert L. Gwilt

    It is great to have the home town boys win.. Brings back found
    memories of my sons football days as well as my own.
    Great job Haymakers.

    • The Championship game was nothing short of outstanding. The Haymakers ruled the field and brought home the title. It was such fun to watch those young men play with such pride and talent.

      I am glad that the post brought back good memories for you!


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