Krause tells the story of football’s triumph | News
SHELDON—Langer’s Bar & Grill provided a main course wrap, pasta salad and cookie for the annual Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation luncheon Jan. 20 at the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center.
Tom Krause provided the chicken noodle soup for the soul.
Krause, an author who has contributed more than 20 times to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series, was the guest speaker for the crowd of about 100.
Along with his writing, Krause was a teacher and coach in the Missouri public school system for 31 years.
“Anyone else retired to this room besides me?” That’s great, isn’t it?” Krause said. “Now I get up in the morning and grab myself a cupful of MiraLAX, and I’m good to go.”
One of the two stories he told dates back to his teaching years.
His earliest history dates back to his playing days at Boonville High School in Missouri. It is also part of his book “Go Big Blue: The Story of the 1974 Boonville Pirates”.
The Boonville Pirates had never won a conference title in football, and Krause referred to the institution as a “school of basketball” at the time.
The Pirates came close to winning the conference title in 1973, but lost a point due to a late two-point conversion. Krause was a junior on the team.
Before his senior year, his teammates would go around town handing out cards and signs to hang up at businesses that read “Boonville Pirates 1974 State Champions.”
As companies put up the signs, the team’s dream was met with skepticism.
“We imagined a dream, a goal of what we wanted to accomplish. We went to the local print shop and had 500 cards printed,” Krause said. “You know what people used to say? ‘Dumb. You’re not going to win a state title. You never even won a conference. When someone calls you dumb, you kind of take it personally. Every time we heard the words “stupid”, the moment we started training, we were pretty focused for what was to come.
After the Pirates won their third game of the 1974 season, the crowd began to grow until the seats were filled for the final game of the season – a contest for the conference title.
The game did not go to the end game this time, as the Pirates easily won the conference crown and a trip to the Missouri State Football Playoffs.
“The cheerleaders ran onto the field; students ran onto the field saying ‘Conference Champions! Conference champions!’ Last year it would have been OK, but this year it’s not what we wanted,” Krause said.
In the semis, Boonville faced a team with a three-year unbeaten streak and the game was close early on until the Pirates stopped at the 15-yard line. They came down and scored to take control of the contest as Boonville qualified for the state title game.
“The first time in school history, we’re so close to hitting our dream,” Krause said.
Mother Nature had other ideas, however, and the University of Missouri at Columbia, where the state title game was taking place, received more than a foot of snow.
The state association wanted to cancel the game, called both teams, and offered a co-championship in 1974. Boonville declined.
“The coach said, ‘Seniors, that’s your title. Do you want to share? It’s up to you,” Krause said. “We took a quick vote. It was unanimous. ‘Play the game.'”
When the team arrived in Columbia, the field had not been plowed. The packed white material was shoveled every 10 meters, but the rejected snow was essentially placed on top of the already heavy by-product.
Team center Krause said the snow was almost up to his knees when he broke the ball.
The match was scoreless at half time and the Boonville coach again posed the question to the players. Would they be okay to be named co-champions?
“He reached into his pocket. Get that map out,” Krause said of the “Boonville Pirates 1974 State Champions” map. “He said ‘Do you want this?'”
The Pirates didn’t settle for co-champions as the team came out and scored 34 points to achieve their dream of becoming state champions. Krause still carries one of the cards in his wallet to this day.
“The first title in the history of the school. The misfits,” Krause said. “Never do anything when people look at you and say ‘stupid’ to stop you from doing what you want. Your dreams belong to you and no one else. You start following them and this town will prosper.
Krause followed up with a story about one of his former students.
Tina was born with cerebral palsy and as a child her grandfather used to do stretching exercises with her. This continued throughout her teenage years as Tina transitioned from a wheelchair to using a walker to get around school.
“She may have the right to be bitter or angry or depressed or whatever, but oh no, she was always happy,” Krause said. “She was always smiling.”
Krause was so touched by Tina’s story that he wrote about it for “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul”.
Before the book’s release, Tina received some discouraging news. A vocational rehabilitation center assessed Tina and told her that once she graduated, her disability being so severe, she would not find a job.
Tina was crushed.
“She stopped doing the stretching exercises and her grandfather said she was just sitting in her wheelchair watching TV,” Krause said. “I’m standing in the hallway and here comes Tina in her wheelchair instead of her walker. When she passed I said ‘Hello Tina’, and she didn’t look up and said ‘Hello’ after she passed.
The day “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul” came out, the school held a cheer rally for the football team and to surprise Tina.
He was given the first copy of the book and his spirits immediately lifted.
“We told him, ‘You’re famous. People are going to read about you in every city in the world. A thousand teenagers stood up and gave him a standing ovation,'” Krause said. face. She later told me it was the best day of her life. Until three weeks later, at halftime of our homecoming football game, Tina became our homecoming queen.
While it was the students who cheered Tina on, Krause credits her grandparents for cheering her on every day.
“Every day her grandfather would say, ‘Tina, we love you. Tina, you’re fine. Tina, we’re proud of you.’ When things get tough for Tina, she hears Grandpa’s voice,” Krause said. “Who hears your voice? Maybe your voice is the one that makes the difference. What’s on TV It’s not what’s on a billboard It’s not what’s in a curriculum It’s you It’s your voice ‘they hear.