Many of Doane’s athletes pride themselves in being students first and athletes second. Seven of Doane’s senior football players proved this by being announced members of the 2018 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society.
According to Doane athletics website, NFF announced today the members of the 2018 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. An all-time high 1,251 players from a record-tying 302 schools qualified for membership in the society's twelfth year.
“I think that having some kind of recognition for the hard work we put in, not only on the field but in the classroom is rewarding,” senior linebacker Richard Carter said. “In some way, it adds just a little bit extra of an incentive to achieve academically if that dedication to excel in your studies isn't already there.”
Senior offensive lineman Cole Bodfield said it always feels good to be recognized when you’ve put a lot of hard work into something but an award is even more special when you and a group of teammates are all able to achieve the standard needed to get the award.
Senior running back Drew Klein said he was blessed with the opportunity to play football for as long as he did.
“It was more than a game, and it taught me more about being a leader than any other thing I've done.”
Bodfield said he started playing tackle football when he was in fourth grade.
“It (football) means the world to me, I love the sport and the community that surrounds it," Bodfield said. "I’ve made lifelong friends because of this sport. Now that I’m done playing it’s definitely bittersweet, my body appreciates being done but I really miss the hard work and time spent with my teammates.”
Klein also said his body is starting to recover from the sport, but will always wish he had another chance to play football.
“Since finishing my football career I've had some time to reflect on my whole experience with football from when I was young to just recently,” Carter said. “Overall I really enjoyed playing and would love to be able to play again. However, I have enjoyed having some free time as well as a break from injuries. Playing football, especially at the collegiate level takes its toll eventually.”
Along with being a 2018 member of NFF Hampshire Honor Society Klein and Carter have received other awards throughout their football careers at Doane. Carter was a GPAC and Doane scholar athlete and Klein received first and second team all GPAC last year for a couple positions, this year was the second team all GPAC for the slot receiver and the one that has meant the most to him Most Valuable Offensive Player for Doane.
“That means a lot to me because it tells me that I contributed as best as I could to the team,” Klein said. “And the hard work that has been put in throughout four years has been worth it.”
The Tigers will kick off their season on Aug. 25 in Wichita, Kan. against Friends University.