"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

More to R-P's Noah Carlson than athletics

He's headed to the University of Michigan: Noah Carlson.
Noah Carlson was spellbinding on the football field last season. His talents got all the way to Prep Bowl. His Rushford-Peterson team got slowed down in its final game. A force earlier, R-P settled for being the second-best team in its class. Carlson built on his reputation as a prime athlete.
And now we're learning about another impressive dimension of this young man. It has to do with books and the classroom. Don't we all marvel at those student-athletes who can excel in both sports and the classroom? We immediately wonder how they find the time. I certainly ask that in my mind. I was a non-athlete who was challenged finding enough time to do adequately in my studies. It probably didn't help that I watched TV shows like "The Virginian."
As I look back today, I feel no shame budgeting time to watch TV. I probably felt more guilt back then. What the heck, if I spend eight hours in a school building on a given day, why not come home and indulge in a little pleasure?
We suspect that Noah Carlson hasn't spent much time digesting TV fare. Noah has his priorities where his elders want them. Maybe it's because of the educational commitment among his relatives. Ahem. Let's consider Truman Carlson of Morris. Truman had countless Morris young people take his biology classes through the years. He was active in athletics and had a stint as athletic director. I suspect the AD job put a few gray hairs on his head as it would with anyone.
I'm glad Truman wasn't still AD in the latter half of the 1980s. Our Morris school district went through some unusual stress at that time. I wouldn't want to see someone of Truman's character get caught in the scissors of public pressure. Someone else was AD or "activities director" at that time. That individual did end up in scissors-like contentiousness which many would argue was of his own making, although there certainly were two sides to that. That was a big problem for the community: that there were two sides at all.
The temperate and gentle Truman was on the sidelines, fortunately. Today he enjoys lunch daily at the Morris Senior Community Center in the most serene setting possible. Congratulations Truman. Yours truly bathes in that serenity too, and you might argue I deserve it just as much. There would be two sides regarding that too: my abilities. I don't want to hear about any of it.
But I most certainly enjoy hearing about the accomplishments of Noah Carlson who is Truman's great grand nephew. Athletes don't come any better than him. And now we learn he excels in academics at the premier level. There's more! Noah is honored for his leadership and community involvement.
The Minnesota chapter of the National Football Foundation is pleased to announce Rushford-Peterson high school student Noah Carlson is a 2017 Scholar Athlete. Carlson and the other winners, chosen for academic excellence, leadership and community involvement, were recognized at the ten-year anniversary of the Minnesota Football Honors on May 7 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The 2016 Minnesota AP Football Player of the Year, Carlson led Rushford-Peterson to a berth in the Class A Prep Bowl. He also earned Player of the Year distinction from the Winona Daily News and Rochester Post-Bulletin. Carlson was a team captain and three-time all-district selection, and holds the Trojans' career, season and single-game records for rushing yards and touchdowns.
The running back, defensive back, kicker, punter and returner - whew! - also competed in basketball and is now in track and field. Carlson is a perpetual honor roll student who ranks highly in his class at Rushford-Peterson (southeastern MN). He hopes to study engineering in college.
In the community, Carlson volunteers much of his time coaching youth sports. He has spent more than 60 hours each coaching camps or teams in all three sports he plays, often coming there right from his own practices or competitions. He is a National Honor Society member and a student ambassador.
It is humbling to read about Noah. Beyond high school he'll be showing his athletic prowess in the Big 10. I am so pleased to write that his sport of choice from now on is track and field and not football. He won't be punishing his body in the brutal world of football. His choice reflects his maturity and sharp mind. We shouldn't rule out that he might be drafted by an NFL team after his senior year. His instincts as a running back are already as well developed as possible. His body would be fresh for football several years from now, but I hope he rejects any such temptation. We should hope he progresses right into engineering.
Carlson will be a University of Michigan Wolverine.
Academics? It can be foreboding
I congratulate Noah although I don't particularly like being reminded of the academic hurdles of school, particularly the 'A' through 'D' grading system that frankly terrorized me. I guess many institutions are taking a fresh look at that old A-D system. I read of at least one college that simply eliminated the 'D' grade. Grades can miss so much in terms of gauging one's intelligence.
My problem was that I tied up my self-worth with whether I was getting decent grades, when I should have just withdrawn some and gotten into "real life" more,
I remember a chat I had with the sage Donnie Eich once, and we were discussing those rigorous classes at our UMM. Do they really make you smart? Are only the smartest kids attracted here, to an institution that allows a "gay devil worshipers" organization?
Donnie said going to UMM just "showed you're good at reading books and then answering questions about them." I agree totally.
BTW Donnie once attended a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game at Ebbetts Field, I believe when he was in the service. What was that romanticized place like, I asked him. "It was a dump," he said.
Background re. Football Foundation
The Minnesota chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota's young people.
The MN chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota's top high school and college football scholar athletes.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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