Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Rolling down the Jeep’s windows, I inhaled the fresh mountain air with its evergreen essence.
Too many hours spent at the office, pungently scented with ‘au de magazine ink’ can damage the soul. The antidote now poured through the windows, along with the vibrant chorus of chirping birds as woman and dog rounded curve after curve on the road to Idaho City.
Easily distracted, for weeks, I’d been looking for the perfect writing getaway. Article assignments, editing multiple books, ringing cell phones,well-meaning family, friends, and Facebook…add up to personal pursuits put on the back burner.
I had a book to finish writing.
Sequestration was the only way.
Packed into my vehicle was a sleeping bag, cooler, camp chair, emergency chocolate, and a hyperactive Weimaraner. I had just under two days to do what I'd been unable to in the past two months…authentically write several more chapters, and compile what I already had.
Past Idaho City, I squinted into the sun at mile markers 42, 45…and finally…46. The first driveway beyond the marker had a metal gate and a sign that said, “Property protected by a United States Marine.” On the opposite side stood a somewhat ornate yurt. Opening the gate, I felt like a cowgirl on the ranch, getting more country and less city by the second.
Locking it into four-wheel drive, I gave it some gas for a run at “Loretta Lane”, which went up the hill. The dog made her way onto the front seat, frightened of the bumps. I remembered this particular pet had not yet gone four-wheeling with me.
Forest gave way to common area with gazebo and picnic tables near a homemade, wood-heated hot tub. A potable water spigot stood nearby, just a stone’s throw from what had to be the favorite feature of many, an outdoor shower. If you’ve never taken a shower out-of-doors, you surely haven’t lived.
A 20’x17’ wall tent stood majestically overlooking it all, complete with walkaround deck, a barbeque, and deck chairs. It stood crisp and white against a background of sloping earth and trees. This was my home for the next two nights.
Another short climb to a parking spot, where I parked and quickly unloaded dog, sleeping bag, and vital chocolates.
The dog immediately went into critter-hunting mode while I completed an easy set up. Inside the tent were two couches against one wall and two cozy padded recliners, each facing an entrance. A kitchen area was against the other wall, with table, four chairs, and a heat-producing wood stove in the corner. Securing front and back flaps, the afternoon light and air flowed through the spacious tent, awakening the creative senses. This was the perfect place in which to write.
With so many gorgeous locations to park ones’ self, there was only one me. The soft lounge chairs, overlooking the now-vacant common area? The cushy, over-sized chairs inside the tent, with their gentle cross-breeze? The winner: a hillside camp chair near the free-standing fire pit, close to forest trails and featuring the adjacent mountain views, just the spot to for watching the sun go down, and the ideal venue in which to ease back into writing after an extended hiatus.
The light wind, water’s movement in the creek below, buzzing bugs and effusive chirping of birds as the day came to a close, and the occasional snuffle of my dog on the hunt were the only sounds present. No one asked what was for dinner. No one could call or message me.
I finally began to write.
Twenty minutes later I made lemon-ginger sun tea in a jar and set it on the deck, anticipating late evening sipping. I moved the deck furniture around. I made up a couch for bedtime, though it was still afternoon.
The writers’ curse is this: to be thinking about writing 24/7, then distracting self to avoid actually doing it. I am a true writer that way.
This I said out loud to not the dog, who was off on her own quest. It was a direct command to a mind that tended to wander.
Looking over my material, I realized how far I had yet to go before completing the book manuscript. Although planning to use past newspaper and magazine articles for the skeleton, the functioning guts were missing. I frantically began jotting notes, pausing only to stand, stretch, and take deep gulping breaths of the open air.
“If we could bottle this stuff,” I thought somewhat distractedly, “We’d make millions.”
The dog busily explored the entire complex, returning about every thirty minutes to check in. Too soon, the sky turned a deeper blue, then gray, then a glorious orange-y, red and pink. For the millionth time, I marveled at an Idaho sunset.
Writing until I could no longer see, I retrieved a lantern from the tent and read a book for a couple of hours on the distinctly silent hillside.
On this mountain, it seemed to take longer for the sun to go down. By ten there it was still fairly light, but knowing I had hours of writing to tackle the next day, I turned in.
The dog, however, did not, proving once again she really was an obsessive-compulsive, as long suspected. Refusing to cease with critter hunting, she was duly confined to the Jeep for the night.
The gentle wafts of air combined with nearby water sounds lulled me into several hours’ sleep on the comfortable couch.
With an early sunrise and so much nature surrounding me, I rose sooner than anticipated, sipping more chilled lemon-ginger sun tea and munching a granola bar while observing the sky’s transforming colors. Granted freedom, the dog resumed her hunt as I grabbed notebook and pen to continue writing.
Not being able to resist the cool morning air and light playing on the trees, we toured each cabin site as the dog circled the yurts in confusion at the unusual building shape. One yurt had glass bottles built into its walls. I peeked inside, seeing how they infused the exterior with colored light. Each area was equipped with a grilling device or fire pit, but the ‘bottle yurt,’ my pick, had a fire pit near a mini waterfall that emptied into a small pond.
The dog galloped up the logging trails, looking back at me in a mocking way. I knew what she was thinking, "I have four legs, you have two...and you're slow."
We climbed higher, crunching on pine cones and the cushion of pine needles.
When returning to writing, I periodically moved around to every picnic table at all three cabins. At one p.m., I lunched on half of a Southwestern turkey-bacon wrap at the sunniest table I could find. The dog, disapproving of change, returned again and again to our tent site, trying to induce me to follow her.
I ended my writing tour back at the camp chair, where I did the bulk of my work. At 4pm I went through the book’s outline, realizing with a grin that I had articles for the last three chapters at home. By then it was 4:29, and I was basically done.
“I’m done!” I said out loud to no one but the dog, who didn’t even turn around, “I can’t believe I’m actually done.”
With the rest of the evening to play, I whistled to the dog and we boarded the Jeep, exited the big metal gate, and rolled over the mountains, stopping to eat occasional snacks, explore, and take photos at dusk.
I watched the sun go down from Lowman that night, then we drove back to camp.
In the morning, cleanup was easy. Leaving things ‘better than I’d found them’ was a challenge, since camp had been in good shape upon arrival.
I’d accomplished more than imagined and bowed my head in gratitude. When I looked back up, there sat the dog, tail wagging excitedly. She leaned her head to the ground, nudging something with her nose. It was a dead mouse. We were both conquerors.
The dog whimpered as we drove down Loretta Lane, past the common area, the outdoor shower, and the fire-heated hot tub that I hoped to experience at a future date. I inwardly whimpered, too, at the prospect of leaving, unready for noise and humanity's bustling movements again.
Mores Creek Cabin Rentals had been the ideal place to go on a weekday for my writing sequestration. It would also be the right place, I thought happily, for an overnight, unofficial, wildly joyous book launch party.
What better location to introduce the “Appetite for Idaho” series than at an Idaho wilderness cabin retreat?
Thanks, Mores Creek Cabin Rentals, for a memorable, restful, and productive stay.
*For more images of Mores Creek Cabin Rentals, click here.
Click here for more "Appetite for Idaho".
Friday, May 31, 2013
---Is it any wonder we struggle with being humble?
Just look at what we've got:
Just look at what we've got:
Autumn Events and Entertainment
The Great Pumpkin Launch, benefit for Habitat for Humanity
Bed and Breakfasts
Birds of Prey
World Center for Birds of Prey
Businesses the Give Back
Opened their doors to Pocatello fire victims
Helped women’s shelter, Hope’s Door, with printing needs
Classic Cars , Hot Rods and Big Trucks
Northwest Motorfest/ Cruise
Cute Shops in Remote Places
Fairs, Festivals and Events
Art in the Park, Boise
Art in the Park, Boise
Western Idaho Fair
Canyon County Christmas Show
Nampa Festival of the Arts
Nampa Kiwanis Steak Fry
Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest/ Weiser
McCall Winter Carnival
Corn and Pickle Festival
Farm and Country Supply Stores
Foodie Blogs and Groups
Garden Valley/ Crouch/ Eateries
Great Food Outside the Boise Area
Hot Springs in Idaho
Idaho Desserts and Candymakers
Idaho Oddities and Unique Locations
Civil Defense Caves/ Rexburg
Photos of Gem County
Debbie Courson Smith
Idaho State Park and Rec
Moving to Treasure Valley?
Museums and Monuments
Off the Beaten Path
Soda Springs and Caribou County
Performing Bareback Riders
Recommended Local Eateries
LeBaron’s Honker Café
Epi’s Basque Restaurant
Resorts and Retreats
Sun Valley Eateries, Museums, Events, Lodging
Music Theater of Idaho
Things to Do in the Treasure Valley
Settlers Park Movie Night
Trails for Hiking and Biking
Middle Creek Walking Path, Nampa
Monday, May 20, 2013
When you’re one of eight kids in the family, and from a small town, it might be kind of hard to stand out, but standing out is exactly what Kevin Page is doing.
Raised in Cumberland, Maryland, the varsity starter two years running and Football Player of the Year knew the sport he loved was his ticket to elsewhere. Yet, he takes the good, honest, small-town values he learned growing up with him wherever he goes.
“People need to prepare themselves for the ‘outside’ world, because there are things out there that are not just going to be given to them,” says Kevin, “Work hard, and it will pay off. In the long run, that’s the steady path.”
Coming from a small town and a small school, it can be easy for athletes to get overlooked.
“You see so many talented people around, but they don’t always get noticed,” Kevin says, “And although coaches really try to help out by putting a good word in, you’ve got to do it for yourself. For me, football was a great asset. I had no intention of wasting my time and ability.”
Playing broadened his chances in the quiet place where football games were a big highlight on the calendar. Consequently, Kevin gained a lot of fans. He was a small, speedy kid on the field. So fast, the fans took to calling him “Roadrunner”.
“I used my size to my advantage,” he says good-naturedly.
Since he knew there were people (especially kids) that looked up to him, he made it a habit to try to give back to the community that had supported him so well.
“My family and the people of Cumberland taught me along the way to be willing to work, and to stay out of trouble. I know they stand by my side.”
Displaying that his determination at least triples his physical size, the football player explains, “There might be people who are bigger than me, but so what. I’m not going to be stuck because of that, I’m going to prove myself. Nothing is going to stop me from where I’m going.”
Kevin adds, “Coming from a small town doesn’t mean I’m not going to play it big. I’m a team player from a small town that looks forward to the big games.”
He had some great influencers during his Cumberland years. Athletes like his cousin, who he calls a ‘steely, fast guy that was always going to make it.’ His cousin was someone he looked up to as he watched him getting many awards, becoming successful, and accomplishing a lot.
“I give him a lot of credit for teaching me the ropes in sports, and dedication. That’s been a great honor. He’s been there, knows, and has helped a lot.”
Kevin Page plans to carry on the mentoring tradition while in Boise, Idaho, something he’s been doing in his hometown for years, as it’s been done for him.
“Listen to what (your elders and mentors) have to say,” he advises, “That’s how I grew up, listening to them, laughing with them. Sit back and enjoy it.”
“I’m anxious to do that here in Boise,” Kevin adds, “We all come from different backgrounds, so we can all learn something different. When I work with kids, I might be helping them, but they help me, as well. Football aside, working with the kids is something I’ve always wanted to do. Any time I can reach out and give a child (the same support I got growing up), that’s something I would love to do.”
To the kids, Kevin says, “It’s sometimes a hard step, following your dreams, but anything can happen if you move forward with your goals.”
The Boise Bandits experience will be his first time in Idaho, and Kevin is planning to make the very best of it, learning all about the area.
“It will be like starting all over again,” he says, “the meeting and greeting. I’ll have a good time.”
True to his upbringing, he’s interested in spending time at Boise’s smaller stores and businesses. He wants to introduce himself, let people get to know him as an outgoing and outspoken loyal friend, and lend a helping hand.
“I came here to be a team player, win championships, and give back to the community. I’m not just here to play football, I’m here to help out as much as I can.”
Kevin Page wants to leave Cumberland, the small town he says he couldn’t say anything negative about, with a legacy.
“Go to school, get an education, and then try to be a leader. That’s what I’m trying to do. Remember, life isn’t always about sports. Stay focused, that’s my job (and your job) as an adult now.”
Boise Bandit #7 adds, “It’s sometimes a hard step, following your dreams, but anything can happen if you move forward with your goals.”
Friday, May 10, 2013
Living in Elko, four hours from any major city, if there was any excitement to be had, it would have to be created. Aaron loved to be outdoors with friends, exploring nearby Lamoille Canyon’s lakes and mountain trails.
“A lot of times, we made our own trails,” he remembers, also recalling several encounters with the area’s native rattlesnakes.
In seventh grade, Aaron got serious about football. He later gave up soccer to pursue football full-on.
“I liked football better, because in football, you get to hit people when you get mad at them,” he laughs.
His mom made it to every game she could when not working, and two older brothers and a sister were in the stands cheering him on, too. This meant a lot to Aaron.
When attending college in Quincy, California, he scoped out adventure potential. Not far from away was a summer camp for kids with a huge rope swing near some water. An hour or two before football practice, Aaron and a few teammates would sneak off to play.
By the time Aaron hit Boise, he was in full fun mode. He found that too much of any one thing is sometimes…just too much.
“I was a party kid,” he says, “I realized there’s more important stuff. You can still have fun, but you can do it without drinking. I’d definitely want people (especially kids) to know this. I learned the hard way.”
These days, Aaron, now a husband and father, says he’s grown up a lot, but not completely. Feeling it’s crucial to have a part of the inner kid intact, he says his wife describes him as ‘a big man-child.’ Having a naturally jovial personality, he loves to make other people smile. If anyone looks a little down, Aaron is prone to using the old fall-back joke, “A horse walks into a bar, and the bartender says, ‘Why the long face’?”
Nine times out of ten, this works.
“Life’s too short to be serious all the time,” he says, but does get serious when mentioning his child.
He wants him to remember his dad as someone he was proud of, who taught him useful things, things like listening to your gut.
He wants him to remember his dad as someone he was proud of, who taught him useful things, things like listening to your gut.
“I didn’t listen at times, and regretted it,” he says, “Follow that inner feeling. Trust your gut.”
“Although,” he adds,” You’ve always gotta take some chances. If you don’t, you won’t get anywhere. Taking a chance is a good thing.”
On the wall of Aaron’s home are several photos of people in sports, with captions below. One of them, his favorite, is called “RISK”. The caption below says:
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.”
Enjoying Boise and going to school at BSU since 2010, recently Aaron decided to take another chance. Seeing Boise Bandits PDFL team information online, he gave Coach Jim McGahey a call. At Capital High School, Coach Jim watched the kicker do what he does best. They signed a contract right then and there.
Kicker Aaron Byers feels his history with soccer was a great asset, helping him learn to position his foot, and giving him strong legs from all of that running. Beyond that, he says, he’s not your average kicker. While some kickers tend to be somewhat introspective and inward, doing plenty of self-talk to lead up to their big moment, Aaron prefers a different approach.
“I want to be around the other teammates and be a part of the team. I don’t actually like having my own thoughts at that time, because I’m a very technical guy. When I’m thinking too much, that’s when I’ll screw it up. So I like to joke around when in that big moment, so I’m loose and can just do my thing. A lot of kickers like to be alone, but for me, it’s totally the opposite.”
For his teammates coming into Boise for the first time, he’s got some great thoughts:
“Go explore. You always find the good stuff when you’re lost. Discover something, then re-learn how to get there. When I first got to town, I filled up the gas tank and just roamed around.”
Aaron’s roaming paid off when he found favorites like DartZone in Meridian (similar to laser tag, but with giant Nerf guns), Jump Creek in Marsing (with a 60 foot waterfall, caves, and hiking), and the Boise River.
Wearing Boise Bandits jersey #83, (significant because it’s the jersey number he was given as a high school freshmen when asked to play in a varsity playoff game), Aaron Byers’ philosophy on kicking, and on life is one that’s workable.
“Loosen up. Open your mind. Don’t overthink it.”
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Fun, honest, caring, and a hard worker, the blue-eyed boy tries to be a positive influence for…
“Everyone around me,” says the wholesome-looking motivator.
This athlete started off with a burst of momentum, though he started football later than some kids. Playing in eighth grade, he later was a high school freshman quarterback, then a safety and wide receiver his junior and senior year. With college athletics, though, came some frustrations. The offense didn’t get utilized the way he thought it could be, and that was tough. After Danny left the school, new coaches arrived, and the team won games and set records.
“It was just a timing thing,” says Danny, but he later shares, “One year in high school, my varsity football coach said at the awards ceremony that in his thirty years of coaching, he’s never had a player that hates losing more than Danny Keenan.”
It’s why Danny has big plans for his next phase, but it’s not without some changes.
“It’s a sacrifice. I’ve had a couple of jobs where I was making a lot of money,” he explains, “I just thought there was something more, something bigger, greater.”
Everyone has their limits, and Danny reached his.
“There’s a time where you’ve just gotta stop and decide what your priorities are.”
Prior to becoming a Boise Bandit, Danny played for an arena team on the East Coast.
“I got here, really excited. The Coach says there are NFL and regional scouts looking for outdoor, not indoor players. This was what I wanted, playing outdoors and traveling to major cities under NFL rules.”
The Treasure Valley’s football fan reputation isn’t any secret.
“I’ve heard you guys pretty much eat, sleep, and talk football,” says Danny, “and I’ve noticed it’s easy to have a good hot topic football conversation. Being in Boise, I know we’ll get a lot of support.”
Something fans can really cheer about is the sight of “KEENAN” on the back of Danny’s jersey. Having lost his both grandfathers early in life, being able to wear the Keenan name is triumphant. While growing up, he was often told, “I wish your grandfather could see you, he’d be so proud.”
Two or three months ago, Danny Keenan donned a uniform bearing the family stamp for the very first time.
“It’s special,” says Danny, “It represents both of them, and means a lot to have that on the back of my jersey.”
As if that weren’t a big enough deal, he’s also wearing the number twelve, special because it was Danny’s high school jersey number, a number he’s missed over the years.
Growing up, Danny’s father made sure he always had an activity, frequently taking him to the park or playing catch. Danny also had what he describes as a ‘really, really good baseball/ basketball coach’ in Steve Pointer, from grades three through eight.
“Ninety percent of (Steve Pointer’s team) played varsity in high school; almost half played college sports. It must the good coaching.”
No surprise that Danny earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. These days, beyond being a Bandit, he’s a fitness professional and personal trainer. When you ask about his technique, it’s easy to see a mixture of mom, dad, coach Steve, and perhaps a little of both grandpas.
“Be a motivator and push every day. First build a good relationship with them, get that trust and know there’s a time and place to have fun or work,” says the tireless trainer, “ If they’re not doing what they should be, you get in their grill and tell them ‘You’re not helping yourself, you’re not helping me, because you’re my product. If you’re not getting results, we both look bad, and if you’re not getting those, you can’t blame it on anyone else.”
“When they start doubting themselves,” Danny explains with a chuckle, “Is when you can be a little mean.”
At the start of the interview, Danny Keenan was asked to give one descriptive word for him. By the end of the interview, he had his word: Heart.
“It separates me from the other guy. Competing for a spot or job against those bigger or faster, who’ve played at big time schools with big coaches or whatever, they won’t have more heart than me. Everyone says it’s just hard work, but it’s more than that. It’s just heart.”
No match for Jamar Wiley, whose mantra is “Don’t be afraid to dream.”
Two years ago during a football game in Mexico, Jamar snapped his fibula. Thinking it was only a high ankle sprain, he continued to run on it for two more weeks. When he later got an x-ray, he was told his ankle would have to be fused, meaning he’d have to say goodbye to football.
Jamar got a second opinion. The new doctor saw him at noon, and was operating on him at eight p.m.
“He saved my leg, and he saved my ankle,” says this thankful athlete.
He wasn’t out of the woods yet. Unable to work out, Jamar’s weight went from 265 to 287. Things weren’t looking good. Not long after his surgery, Jamar’s had a crushing pain in his chest, and he could barely breathe. Rushed by ambulance to the hospital, he was put on blood thinners. Because his leg had been elevated, a blood clot had gone through his lung, creating the symptoms of a heart attack.
Well-meaning friends and supporters began to buzz that Jamar should step away from sports, but his mother told him, “We’re not believers in medicine, we’re believers in a God.”
Jamar felt that through Him, anything was possible.
“I had people tell me I should give up, that the injury was a sign from God that I needed to let football go. My thing was this…if you have a passion for something, you never lose that drive. Football was in me.”
Having what could have been a life-shortening experience, Jamar did some re-evaluating. His brush with death helped him see he was putting too much into football, instead of letting it be what is was.
“It’s a game,” Jamar says, “and it’s supposed to be fun if you don’t let it consume you. What happened taught me there’s life outside of football, but you can also use the game as a stepping stone to a whole lot of other things, and it can teach you a lot about yourself.”
Though it caused rifts in a few relationships, Jamar still decided to listen to his heart and go back to the game he loved.
He wisely shares, “If you have a dream, you need to follow your dream. Once you let people talk you out of it, you no longer have your own dream, you’re living life for those people, trying to please other people. I was done with doing that.”
“If I’m wrong,” he continued, “then I’ll just be wrong. In life, there will always be haters. You’ll have them everywhere you go. It’s all about how you deal with them. If you give them no nevermind, you’re doing just fine. That’s what will frustrate them more, knowing they can’t get to you. It all starts with you.”
That attitude must have worked, because Jamar miraculously bounced back. The doctor gave him the nod to start working out and to return to his employment. He felt better, lost weight, and returned to the field. When he saw his old San Diego Thundercat teammates, they told him about an upcoming game in Mexico. Jamar said he wanted to go. Most of his teammates had no idea he was going to play; it had been two long years since his serious injury.
In Mexico, Jamar stunned everyone by getting off the bench and into the game.
“People said I moved a whole lot faster, and looked a whole lot stronger than before,” Jamar relates, “After that, I did pretty well. I’m not really big on my own stats, I’m more of a team person, but when they said, ‘You looked good’, I’ll take that.”
The Mexico game had huge significance for him.
“That’s when I knew I was back,” the athlete shares, “That game was personal for me, because that’s where it all ended. I had never had a broken bone or major injury before. It felt good to return to the game in the country that had taken me out of it.”
The new Boise Bandit has learned many lessons, due to his journey, lessons that he plans to pass on to his fellow players.
“In a religious form, it’s called a testimony. If I choose to live life the way someone else wants me to live it, I no longer have that testimony, no story of my own. It’s why you hear people say ‘I’m still searching for myself, still trying to figure out who I am.’ I know who I am, what I am, and I stand firm in that.”
Jamar is also a big believer in being humble.
“If you’re a humble person, you’re not looking for praise. You’ll always deflect. It’s not about me, it’s about my team, it’s about them. Don’t be one of those that starts to get a big head, don’t believe the hype around you. You don’t want to be that person.”
Jamar says he’s one of those kids who actually absorbed good teachings from a parent. His mother, who passed away in 2000, still has, he believes, and active role in his life.
When asked if he thinks she sees him, Jamar replied, “I don’t believe she sees me. I believe she’s with me.”
*A special shout out from Jamar to his brother William, cousin Anthony, Aunt Hazel, all cousins, his Watkins girls, and his friends and teammates. Jamar wants you to know he loves and appreciates all of your support over the past couple of years, and that it has meant a lot to him.
*Follow the Boise Bandits on Facebook, Twitter, and make sure to check out their website for the game schedule.
*Follow the Boise Bandits on Facebook, Twitter, and make sure to check out their website for the game schedule.
Today’s Malcolm Shepherd is calm and collected. The first impression you get of him is that his thoughts run deep.
“I tell people about the talking, but they don’t believe me. I have teachers who would tell you otherwise. I got a lot of attention and strikes for that. Bored and energetic, I could never stay still. When I hit high school, that leveled out. There, I didn’t like to talk in class at all.”
“I’m a quiet guy, I’m down to earth,” he says, “I think a lot, getting sidetracked about other things. I would say a philosopher.”
That mind is always going, a mind that must figure out how to do something before Malcolm himself does it physically.
A basketball player since he was young, Malcolm dreamed of playing in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls (his dad’s favorite team) and really respected Michael Jordon. He has an older brother he idolized who played, and he wanted to be like him. Until…the high school football coaches got to him, and almost too late. These same coaches had tried to get Malcolm on board since his freshman year.
As a senior, Malcolm decided to give the game of football a shot.
“I’d never really thought about football, never caught a ball, never ran around with it,” he says, “I started playing and just fell in love with it.”
Even without any prior training, Malcolm turned out to be magic on the field. When college time came around, Malcolm was given scholarship choices for both basketball and football. A tough call, since he’d been playing basketball his entire life.
“Everyone thought I’d play one year of football in high school, and that would be it,” says the new Boise Bandit.
Not so. Malcolm chose the football scholarship, then went on to start on a nationally-ranked team.
“---So that was fun,” he says, “It was a great decision.”
With a goal of the NFL in mind, Malcolm’s family supports him, calling almost every day when he’s out of town. One of his brothers, currently a professional basketball coach in Germany, tells him, ‘as long as you can play, just keep on playing.’
Malcolm still uses the lessons he learned as a kid from watching Michael Jordon’s drive, work ethic, and desire to compete to be the best.
One of the big reasons Malcolm Shepherd is in Boise is one we’ve heard repeatedly: Coach Jim McGahey.
“I talked with him on the phone for an hour before actually deciding to go. The things he told me about this league and about himself really intrigued me. Other PDFL teams offered, but I didn’t feel a connection with those coaches. Coach Jim was a guy I could talk to and play football with.”
Boise fits in with Malcolm’s lifestyle, and, as he says, “The people really love their sports.”
To the kids he’ll soon be seeing within the community, he says, “Live your dream, and just have fun. Once you lose the passion for something, you’re not going to do well at it, so have fun. If you have a bad day, forget it and move on.”
He adds thoughtfully, “Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. If that had happened to me, I wouldn’t have gone to college, and I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Boise Bandit #15 gives this great advice:
“Help people as much as you can. Never tell them to stop, never tell them they’re stupid for trying. If someone has the passion to do something, support them one hundred per cent.”