Thursday, June 14, 2018

Rex & Sharon Jones leaving his adopted hometown

By Con Marshall

The last member of one of Chadron’s most prominent sports families to reside here is packing up and heading south.
   
Sharon and Rex Jones are moving to Wichita
Yes, Rex Jones and his wife Sharon, both of whom have lived a big percentage of their lives in Dawes County, are moving to Wichita, Kan.  The van is due to arrive Monday, they’ll load it and will be gone soon afterwards.

It will be the third time the Joneses have left Chadron, but they’re not going away mad.  Both say they have enjoyed living in Chadron the past 16 years since retiring. But Rex has already celebrated his 80th birthday and Sharon admits hers isn’t too far away, so they feel it’s time to be closer to family. Their oldest son Jerry, his wife Lisa and their two adult children live in Wichita.

"We decided it would be good to be closer to one of our kids,” Sharon explained.  “We could have moved to the Denver area, where our daughter, Julie, her husband Marty Coniglio (the Channel 9 weatherman on Denver TV), and their two kids live, but we decided on Wichita. We think it is easier to get around there than it is in Denver.”

Sadly, their youngest son, Rick, who also had two children, passed away two years ago this fall following a lengthy bout with cancer.
            
The daughter of Ed and Helen Franey, Sharon is a Dawes County native.  She was born and raised on a farm near Crow Butte southeast of Crawford.  Both of her brothers, Melburn and Max, and their families live in Chadron. A sister, Shirley, lives in California.
            
Rex was born in Sidney.  He’s the middle child of the 11 born to Dick and Alice Jones. The family moved to Chadron on Dec. 17 1948, about two weeks before the Blizzard of ’49 struck. 
            
Rex was 11 at the time and enrolled in the sixth grade at the Kenwood School. The three oldest kids were gone from home when the move was made and Rose Mary, a senior at Sidney High, remained there so she could graduate with her classmates.  But the seven youngest Joneses received their diplomas from Chadron High.
            
The first five were boys—Ross, Rex, twins Ronnie and Donnie and Roger—followed by two girls—Janice and Judy. 
            
This photo of the Dick and Alice Jones family was taken in December 1949, a year after they came to Chadron.  In front, from left, are twins Donnie and Ronnie, Dick Jones holding Judy, Roger and Alice Jones.  In the back: Rex, Billy, Bonnie, Ross, Janice, Bob and Rose Mary. 
Rex said the move to Chadron was made so his dad could help a brother in a new business venture. Bill Jones was closing his grocery store at the corner of Second and Chadron Avenue (where West 2nd Appliance is located) and using the same building to open a dealership to sell Plymouth, Chrysler and Nash cars.
            
Before long, the business expanded to a new large building on North Main Street where Cerny Body Shop is now located.  Bill was the business manager and salesman and Dick was a mechanic. After a few years, Bill switched to ranching northeast of Chadron and Dick went to work for Vern and Roy Chicoine’s Ford dealership on West Second Street.
            
Eventually, Dick joined the maintenance and grounds staff at Chadron State College and worked there until retiring in the late 1970s.
            
The Jones boys were football standouts at Chadron High. Ross was a lineman and graduated in 1952.  The Cardinals hadn’t done well on the gridiron for several years, but suddenly in the fall of 1954 a new coach, Gordon “Fuzz” Watts, took over and with Rex Jones calling the signals out of a “split T” formation the Red Birds began drawing lots of attention.
            
They went 8-0-1 in ’54 for Chadron High’s first undefeated season since 1926. The Cards won both the Panhandle B and Northwest Conference championships.
            
The town went bonkers over the football team’s success.  Two drug stores and a café offered the players free malted milks and Pace Theater gave them movie passes.

Jones was the most decorated player.  He was tabbed the Class B all-state quarterback by the media.
            
Here’s a paragraph about him that was in the Chadron Record’s season wrap-up story written by Don Prather.
            
“Jones generaled the Cards throughout the season with few, if any, tactical mistakes.  His passing was brilliant—particularly to Tom Blundell.  His pitchouts frequently worked to perfection. And, his deception on the bootleg play throughout the season confounded both the defense and the fans.”           
            
Rex, who also set the Chadron High single-game basketball scoring record of 30 points and held the school’s pole vault record, was a senior that fall, but the Cardinals’ football dynasty was just beginning.  Their record during a 10-year stretch was 76-11-4 and they won 11 conference championships.
            
The Cards were 7-1-1 in 1955 and 9-0 the following year when Ronnie Jones was the quarterback and Donnie Jones was tabbed a first-team, all-class, all-stater at offensive guard.  Brad Ferguson in 1984 is the only other Chadron High gridder to ever receive the all-class honor.
            
The twins also were starters on Verne Lewellen’s basketball teams that reached the state basketball tournaments in both 1956 and 1957. The latter team finished 22-2 their senior year.

Roger, the youngest of the Jones boys, played guard on another of the Cards’ undefeated football teams in the fall of 1960.  The following summer he and classmate Larry Miller played in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl in Lincoln.

After graduating from high school, Rex continued his football career at Chadron State College. Individually, his best season was as a sophomore in 1956, when he was the starting quarterback on the 5-2-1 team coached by Paul Glod,

Glod was at CSC just one year and Bill Baker returned as the Eagles’ head coach.  Baker wasn’t familiar with the T formation and switched the Eagles to the single wing. Thus, Rex lost his full-time starting job under center, but still played quarterback on the “side saddle T” alignment Baker sometimes used and held for the placekicker. He was one of eight seniors on the roster in 1958, when the Eagles went 8-0 and annihilated most of their opponents, outscoring them 251 to 66.
            
A 60-year reunion of the 1958 team, as well as others in the Baker era, is being organized by Baker, now 90 and a resident of Tucson, Ariz.  It will take place during homecoming this fall. Rex and Sharon have already made reservations at a Chadron motel.
            
They also are looking forward to the next Jones family reunion, which they hope will be at Fort Robinson, in the summer of 2019. 
Football is what brought the couple together.  With smiles, they say she literally “fell for” him.

Sharon was a freshman at CSC in the fall of 1957.  Prior to a home game, a pep rally and bonfire was held on C Hill. It was dark when the participants were coming down the hill to the campus. She stumbled and was falling, but Rex caught her before she hit the ground.

After the unusual introduction, they began dating. She earned a one-year teaching certificate, then taught a rural school near Crawford the next year. They were married in June 1959, just a couple of weeks after Rex had graduated.

No one could have imagined all the awards and honors Rex would receive during his career.

His first job in the fall of ’59 was as a teacher and assistant coach at Mullen. The next two years, he was the head football and track coach at Hemingford and then spent five years at Rushville before returning to Chadron High in the fall of 1967.  He coached the Cardinals five years before succeeding Jim Myers as the high school principal in 1972.

Three years later, he became the associate director of the Nebraska School Activities Association in Lincoln.  He had that position 26 years before the Joneses retired and returned to Chadron in 2002.

Sharon completed her bachelor of science in education degree at CSC after the family moved back to Chadron, graduating in December 1971. She also worked in Head Start here and taught pre-school in Lincoln about 10 years prior to becoming the assistant editor of the Nebraska Farmer magazine, a job she thoroughly enjoyed, for about 10 years before joining Rex in retirement.

“We could have stayed in Lincoln after we retired, but we wanted to live in a smaller town,” Sharon recalls.  “We looked at some of the towns around Lincoln, but decided we’d rather come back to Chadron.  Rex knew the hunting and fishing would be better back this way.  It was our ‘homecoming’.”

Yes, he is an outdoorsman.  He said pheasant hunting is his favorite, but he’s also enjoyed hunting ducks and geese and admits to spending many hours fishing, often at Angostura and other lakes in South Dakota with friends such as Rich Stahla, who, for the same reason as the Joneses are leaving Chadron, moved with his wife Joyce to Fort Collins about a year ago.

Coaching football was one of Rex’s passions.  As his 70-37-5 record attests, he had lots of success doing it.  His most successful team was his final team at Rushville in 1966, when the Longhorns went 11-0.

Omaha World-Herald sportswriter Conde Sargent called them “a once in a lifetime team, a squad you dream about but rarely ever have.” 

Two years ago, that team, along with the Longhorns’ Class C state championship wrestling team that winter, received the Golden Anniversary Award at the Nebraska High School Athletic Hall of Fame program in Lincoln.
            
During much of his tenure with the NSAA, Jones was director of the football, cross-country, wrestling and track and field state championships.
            
He was a member of the National High School Football Rules Committee for 25 years and also was on the National High School Wrestling and Track and Field Rules Committees. He was chairman of both the football and wrestling committees.

Changes he helped make included allowing football coaches to go onto the field to talk to their players during timeouts and prohibiting wrestlers from moving to lower weights after the season began. He refereed both high school and college wrestling matches during the sport’s formative years in Nebraska.
            
Rex was inducted into the Chadron State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001, a year before the Joneses moved back to Chadron.

He also received the Section 5 (six states) Citation Award from the National Federation of State High School Associations in Boston in June 2002 and was inducted into the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003.
            
In March 2009, Rex was one of three recipients of the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Dan Gable “America Needs Wrestling” Award.  The award is one of the most prestigious anyone connected with that sport can receive.
            
Rex has fond memories of all phases of his career and likes to discuss some of the changes he’s witnessed.
            
For instance, he recalls that when he played and coached, the quarterbacks called most of their own plays. Coaches seldom sent someone from the sidelines to the huddle with instructions.
            
He feels fortunate to have coached some excellent quarterbacks.  One of them was Gary Hollstein, the field general for Rushville’s 8-1-1 and 11-0 teams in the mid-1960s.  Hollstein also set the Nebraska Class C high hurdles record of 14,6 seconds that lasted 38 years.
            
After taking over the Cardinals in 1967, Curt Lecher was the quarterback for teams that went 8-2 and 9-1.  The following year, Lee Baumann called the signals and played in the Shrine Bowl the following summer, when Rex was an assistant coach for the North team.
            
As the director of the State Wrestling Tournaments, Jones often called on Chadron friends such as Doug Bailey, Neil Daniels, Bob Hageman, Charlie Littrel, Jerry McCance and Tom Thompson to come to Lincoln to help out. 

Rex also notes that Bobby Colgate began assisting with the tournament as a Chadron eighth grader, continued helping through high school and college and then succeeded him in the NSAA office when he retired.  Colgate is now director of Sports and Sports Medicine for the National Federation of State High School Associations in Indianapolis.

In that capacity, Colgate has been one of the national leaders in protecting athletes from concussions and receiving proper attention if they suffer a concussion. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Muma sisters star at state track meet

by Con Marshall

Madi and Jenna Muma
(Image courtesy LE Track & Field-Twitter)
Sisters Madi and Jenna Muma, who have a Chadron heritage, were among the stars at the recent Nebraska State High School Track and Field Meet in Omaha.  They attend Lincoln East.

A junior this past year, Madi repeated as the Class A 800 champion. Her time of 2:13.22 set the state meet record a year ago.  This year her winning time was 2:16.33.   She also was fourth in the 1600 in 5:06.55 this year.  That was four seconds slower than her second place time last year in the event.

Jenna, just a freshman, was this year’s Class A 1600 winner in 5:03.23.  She also was third in the 800 in 2:19.97.
               
Both of the winning marks were the all-class bests at this year’s state meet. They also ran the final two legs on Lincoln East’s first place 4x800 relay team.   
               
The Muma name is familiar to long-time Chadron sports fans.  Brothers Charlie, Jay and Dick were all-around athletes at Chadron Prep in the 1950s.  In particular, they excelled in basketball.  Each of them scored more than 1,000 points and earned all-state honors. They also played basketball at Chadron State.
               
Jay and Joyce Baker Muma are the sisters’ grandparents.  Both graduated from CSC. 
               
The girls’ father, Chad, was the Class B triple jump champion at the state meet his final two years at Lexington High School with marks of 46-6 ¾ in 1987 and 46-10 ¼ in 1988.

Monday, May 21, 2018

C&NW Historical Society had a big day in Chadron!


Rick Mills and Phyllis Carlson pause during a busy day – Friday May 18th – as three busloads of eager railroad buffs came to town to immerse themselves in.....railroading!

Rick Mills and Terry Sandstrom
Mills, whose day-job is curator of the Railroad Museum of South Dakota located in Hill City, served as chairman of the three-day Chicago and NorthWestern Historical Society convention held last week in Rapid City.  On Friday, three busloads of conventioneers arrived in Chadron to tour the Nebraska Northwest Railroad facilities – owned and operated for over a century by the C&NW Railway.

In the afternoon, they converged on the Dawes County Museum, where director Phyllis Carlson and a bevy of volunteers hosted the group.

Of particular importance at the museum was a wonderful new exhibition of railroad photographs, artifacts and memorabilia recently donated by Chadron native Terry Sandstrom, now of Wheatland, Wyoming.  Sandstrom, wearing the ball cap in the above photo, is shown visiting with Mills at the museum.

We captured a few photos of the roundhouse and museum events and have posted them in a linked gallery.  While not all images have yet been posted, and many have not yet been identified and need captions, we thought you might like a sneak preview.  You'll find it in our C&NW Gallery.

The Chadron Record did a special report about the C&NW in Chadron for their edition published just before the convention, and reporter/photographer Brandon Davenport also assembled a story posted a week after the event.  It's headlined Chadron's Railroad History on display.  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Things Go Better With.........More Information!

by Larry Miller

It apparently all started years ago with a huge bag of bottle caps that were intended to put the finishing touch on the just-filled Coke bottles coming off the line at the old Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Chadron.

Seems the Dawes County Historical Museum has come by those misguided bottle caps, spurring questions about the old plant. 

"What year was it built," Budge asked.

"I don't know, but I'll bet somebody does," I replied.

That short conversation with Budge Cripps of Whitney, Nebraska – a guy who's been deeply involved with the Dawes County Historical Museum for several years – has sent yours truly off on an information scavenger hunt.

My desk is a mess, there's dirty dishes in the sink, the garage needs cleaning, and I've got a wee bit of a cold......but all is not lost.  I've found yet another diversion from doing the things I should be doing.  It's a new historical puzzlement – searching for clues that might help answer Budge's question.  No answer yet, but a few good leads.

My first thought was to contact high school classmate Tommy Sims.  After all, Tommy's dad bought the plant and moved from Kansas to Chadron in about 1957-58.  A quick call to Tom resulted in an exchange of information over lunch at the Alpine Inn in Hill City (They have really good brownies, by the way – and I expect Coca-Cola, too).  

Tom, shown here with a plaque from the plant, had some great old photos, too; alas, they were not dated.  But our "Columbo" instincts took hold when we saw a photo with baskets of flowers on the floor of the plant, like perhaps....a celebration?  Ah, ha!  A Grand Opening!  Well, maybe.

Most telling was that plaque Tom had wisely spirited from the wall of the plant those many years ago – when it went out of business.  We conjured that was probably about the time Safeway was building a new store along West Third Street in Chadron, reaching back and likely gobbling up some of the land upon which the plant sat.  (I'd forgotten – if I ever knew – that there were actually two different Safeway buildings at that location, subsequent to their earlier store I remember on the west side of First and Main).

Tom says the plaque was probably presented to the plant by the now-defunct Miller-Hydro Company way back when.  And Miller-Hydro, he says, was the manufacturer of the mechanized bottle washer in the plant.  After inspecting that plaque, we surmised that it was likely presented to the plant when it first opened.  If our interpretation of the numbers at the bottom-left of the plaque are accurate, that was probably about the 16th of June 1939.  Perhaps that was the opening date.  And maybe that's when some of Tommy's picture of the plant were taken.

Then, I thought of the late Harry Meyer,  who was known around Chadron as "Mr. Kiwanis" for more than half a century.   Born in Colorado and member of the "Last Man's Club" of World War One veterans, he was a jovial and enterprising guy I got to know in about 1958 at the KCSR radio station.  I got to know Harry pretty well.  He was in the sunset of his years, working at the station as its bookkeeper.

But Harry was also known as a Coke guy.   Or rather, THE Coke guy in Chadron.  He had run the Coca-Cola Bottling Company way back when – but just when the heck was that?  Well, according to the Pictorial History of Dawes County, Harry owned the plant from 1929 to 1953.  The next owner was George Garrison, who had it for nearly five years.

Exploring a few old Chadron city directories, I discovered that Harry and his wife, Gertrude, owned and operated the Chadron Creamery as early as 1936.  And according to ads, they were a manufacturer and distributor of dairy products, candies, Near Beer, and......Coca-Cola.

But where was the Chadron Creamery in those days?  East 2nd Street?  Second and Chadron Avenue?  I'm inclined to think that Harry and "Gert," as he often called her, handled Coca-Cola among the many other products marketed at the creamery – but I'm skeptical they were bottling Coke in those early years.  I suspect it was 1939, when the Miller-Hydro bottle washer and other equipment necessary for filling the uniquely shaped Coke bottles were purchased, probably for a new or renovated structure on the west side of Second and Chadron Avenue.  What do you think?

A picture of Harry at work, and a few other Coca-Cola related photos (courtesy of Tom Sims) are included in our Early Chadron gallery.  There's even one that suggests that "Things Didn't Always Go Better With Coke."

A bit of follow-up in the Chadron newspapers of the 1930's, and cross-checking with local telephone and city directories of that period, should help to answer Budge's question.  Until then, I'm thinking there was a plant, somewhere in Chadron, in 1939.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A chance to keep Deadhorse history alive!

In an effort to update historical information about the Deadhorse community and those who have lived in the community, please send stories, historical information including pictures and any other memories you'd like to share to:
Kim Madsen, 60 Grantham Road, Chadron, NE 69337.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Revisiting the mysterious naming of Chadron

by Larry Miller

Traveling northward on U.S. 385 recently, I stopped near the city dam about five miles south of Chadron to read and admire the Nebraska Historical Marker dubbed "Chadron Creek Trading Post."

Not for the first time, I felt a few pangs of guilt for not knowing more of the specifics regarding the history of my old home town – and the surrounding region.  I reckon many-a-soul spend their youthful years pursuing activities other than history, and so it was with me.


However, I do remember often hearing that Chadron was originally established in 1884 and was known as O'Linn.  And I recall hearing varied stories about Chadron being named for a fur trader by the name of Pierre Chadron.   So much for recollections.

Returning to my South Dakota home, I pulled out two important locally-produced books to which I often refer regarding Chadron history:  Chadron, Nebraska ~ Centennial History ~ 1885 to 1985; and Chadron Quasquicentennial 1885-2010.   I wanted to update my foggy memory about Chadron history, and the books did not disappoint.

Veteran historian Jim Hanson, whose impressive credentials have taken him all over the country, including the Smithsonian Institute and later the Nebraska State Historical Society, authored sections in both publications.  In them, he offered information that corrected and expanded my youthful recollections about Chadron's naming.

It seems that my "Pierre Chadron" was actually the "Louis Chartran" noted in this historical marker up the hill from city dam and Chadron Creek.   And it appears the town was not named directly for Chartran, but for the creek that carried his name – now Chadron Creek.  Hanson's story in the Quasquicentennial book does an excellent job of summarizing the history of "Chadron Before Chadron."

A few other related observations.

There were seven authors listed for the 1985 Chadron history book:  Jim Dewing, Rolland Dewing, Jim Hanson, Don Huls, Les Mann, Con Marshall, and Jon Olson.  I've had the pleasure of knowing five of those gents.  And if it was all men conspiring to put out the 1985 book (I suspect lots of ladies helped, too) things changed only a little bit by 2010 when the Quasquicentennial publication was printed. While it appears good friend Con Marshall – one of the most prolific writers I know – served as chairman, writing and assembling much of the book, ladies dominated the History Book committee.  They were Jennifer Cleveland, Bev Stitt, Rosanne Keepers, Sharon Jones, Marge Stoner, and Barb McDaniel.  While their names are not seen in bylines, they performed a myriad of tasks ranging from proofreading to advertising.

I expect in coming years we'll see more female historians.  Those researching and writing history.  If the list of winners from the recent Western District History Days at Chadron State College is any indication, that time has already have arrived.  In more than 50 years of media work, I've seen an industry dominated by men become the turf of men and women alike.  

And while I'd like to attribute my interest in history to teachers at Chadron High School, Chadron State College, and Iowa State University (they were all men), I can't.  My interest in history was dormant and limited during most of those years – only to be awakened by the splendid writing and superb research conducted by the late Barbara Tuchman (The Guns of August, Stillwell and the American Experience in China, etc.)

But then, of course, there's age.  It seems to me that many of us begin to appreciate history only later in life – just before we ourselves become history.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Danny Woodhead retires from pro football

By Con Marshall

Danny Woodhead, the player who led the way as the Chadron State College football team rose to become among the nation’s best in NCAA Division II, surprised many of his fans last weekend by announcing his retirement from the National Football League.

Ex-CSC football star Danny Woodhead
Just a couple of days earlier, after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens, that story quoted Woodhead as saying, “I can’t wait for my next stop.”

 Apparently he decided in short order that 10 years in the pros were enough.  The retirement stories said he went from undersized and undrafted to a big-time playmaker in the NFL. 

Although listed as just 5-8, 185 when he arrived at Chadron State in the fall of 2004, he came up big in everything he did athletically.  As a senior at North Platte High School when he rushed for 2,037 yards and 31 touchdowns, he was the Nebraska Gatorade Football Player of the Year, offensive captain of both the Omaha World-Herald’s and Lincoln Journal Star’s all-class, all-state football teams and was Huskerland Report’s Player of the Year.

Since he also had averaged the state-best 26 points for the North Platte basketball team that winter, he also was named the Omaha and Lincoln newspapers’ 2003-04 Male Athlete of the Year.

Early in his pro career, Woodhead received a special parking place at the New England Patriots’ training camp after he won the team’s golf tournament.

Undoubtedly if Tom Osborne or Frank Solich had still been coaching at Nebraska, they would have offered Woodhead a scholarship or tried to convince him to walk-on with the Cornhuskers. But when Woodhead was a high school senior, Osborne was in the U.S. House of Representatives and Solich had been fired that fall.  The new NU coaching staff led by Bill Callahan wasn’t interested in such a small running back. Apparently, neither were the other big time teams.

Since both of Woodhead’s parents, Mark and Annette, were Chadron State graduates, and older brother Ben was a senior wide receiver on the CSC team, the Eagles had an inside track in landing him.  Head coach/athletic director Brad Smith cashed in the chips.  While such information is seldom announced, Woodhead was said to be the first athlete to receive a “full-ride” from the college.Woodhead didn’t start the first game his freshman year, but he clinched the starting job in the third game when he rushed for a school-record 306 yards and scored five touchdowns. That was just the beginning of a fantastic career.

He would have three more games with 300-plus yards, set the NCAA II record for most 200-yard or more games (19), score touchdowns in 38 consecutive games and romp at least 50 yards to the end zone 21 times.

He became college football’s all-time leading rusher with 7,962 yards, rolled up 9,480 all-purpose yards and scored 109 touchdowns (tying him for the most in college football annals), helping him win two Harlan Hill Trophies, which go to Division II’s outstanding player.

The Eagles were 12-1 overall, were undefeated in the RMAC and ranked fifth in NCAA II by the American Football Coaches Association at the end of both his junior and senior seasons.

In addition, Woodhead was NCAA Division II’s National Scholar-Athlete his senior season in 2007 and graduated with a 3.72 GPA after majoring in both health and physical education and math.  Two years later, he was voted the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s All-Time Outstanding Offensive Player when its All-Century Team was selected.

None of the NFL teams drafted him in the spring of 2008, but in short order the New York Jets signed him as a free agent. He suffered a serious knee injury during a training camp practice that summer.  That’s usually curtains for an undrafted player, but the Jets left him on injured reserve and he made the roster the following season, but eventually he was released. 

The Patriots quickly nabbed him and he played for them the next three years, becoming an important cog in Tom Brady’s offense, often entering the game on third down and either running through a small crack in the line or catching short pass and turning it into a big gain.  He rushed for 547 yards and five touchdowns in 2010 and caught a touchdown pass from Brady in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

The next four years he was an all-purpose back for the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers.  He also was an invaluable piece of Philip Rivers’ arsenal.  He caught 76 passes for 605 yards and six touchdowns his first year there in 2013.  After breaking a leg, Woodhead missed all but three games in 2014, but he returned in 2015 for another excellent season, grabbing 80 passes for 755 yards and 16 TDs and also rushing for 336 yards and three more scores. 

Another ACL injury in the second game ended his 2016 season.  The following winter, he signed a three-year, $8.8 million contract with Baltimore, but a hamstring problem put him on injured reserve through the first eight games last fall.  He saw enough action late in the year to catch 33 passes for 200 yards. Still, the Ravens released him while paring their payroll before next month’s draft.

During his farewell message, the media reported that the ever-gracious Woodhead thanked God, his family, his agent, his former coaches, singling them out by name, his former high school, college and NFL teammates and the medical personnel who had helped him along the way.

The Associated Press story ended with, “I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few, but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.”  Danny and his wife Stacia, his high school sweetheart, have four children and a home in the Omaha area.

More accolades will be coming his way.  Both the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference long ago let him know they were ready to induct him as soon as his playing days were over. 

- 30 -

Note:  As always, our gratitude to Con Marshall for sharing this timely story!
For another perspective on Danny Woodhead's retirement, take a look at this link: