Wrestlers honor absent coach
Team members, coaches wear Army caps at state tourney in Wichita
Jeremy Goebel couldn't be in Wichita to witness his first state tournament as a head coach.
Tonganoxie wrestlers made sure that at least a symbol of their first-year coach would be.
Goebel, who recently was deployed in the Army National Guard, had to miss both the regional and state tournaments because of military duties.
But last Thursday, senior Andrew Miller thought something could be done to honor his coach while the Chieftains competed at state.
Andrew's mother, Tammy Miller, started making phone calls to Army personnel in hopes of acquiring some memorabilia. With the first call, the representative had hats and T-shirts.
Tammy thought the ball caps would be good for the wrestlers to wear, so she inquired about them.
The Army official asked when she would need them by.
Miller said noon, but that just wasn't enough time. So, Miller made four or five more calls and finally made progress with someone in Lawrence at 10:30 a.m. after explaining her situation.
"I'll have hats there for you at 11 a.m.," the commander told Miller.
So, Army officials brought six caps for state qualifiers and two for coaches Dean Moss and Scott Underwood.
Wrestlers quickly put on the hats, which were black with a gold outlined star on the front and the branch's slogan on the back: "Army of one."
"Andrew said 'That one's our coach,'" Miller said.
In Wichita, a few wrestlers from Tonganoxie could be spotted wearing the new lids.
"It was pretty breathtaking to see the kids in them," Miller said.
And the Chieftains even had a Goebel in attendance as well. Jeremy's wife, Lisa, made the trip down for Friday's competition.