Chiefs rally in coach's memory
November 02, 2011 - The Clarkston Chiefs have a new award this year for the player who's "All That" – the award is in honor of the youth football association's coach Steve "Buckeye" Meyers, who passed away suddenly, Oct. 7.
Coach Buckeye (click for larger version)
"He was 'all that' – he was funny and cool," said Jake Jensen, Clarkston Chief.
"He had a good attitude and loved every day," said teammate Michael Fluegel.
"He was a nice guy. He never let us down," said Josh Cantu.
He earned his nickname through his devotion to his hometown team, Ohio State.
"He was a huge OSU fan," said coach Chris Fluegel, Clarkston Chiefs JV White. "He didn't have any kids on the team, he just loved football and coaching."
"He was always upbeat and positive, an intense guy," said Tom Nicklin, JV White head coach who brought him on as assistant coach.
Four teams, JV Blue, Freshmen Blue, JV White, JV Gold, wear patches in Coach Buckeye's honor.
"Graphic Wizard dropped everything to make patches," said Karen Nicklin.
"He was a good football guy," said Freshmen Blue head coach Mike McClorey. "He had so much faith in the kids. I learned that from him."
They're planning several fund raisers to help his wife Leanna and daughter Ashleah Fuller-Meyers.
"They were a very inspirational couple – it's amazing what they gave," Karen said.
A Celebration of life and benefit is Nov. 6 at Crescent Lake Inn, 4904 Elizabeth Lake Road in Waterford, with raffles, 50/50, and dinner, $10 donation at the door. Call 248-681-1468. A benefit dinner and auction is 5 p.m., Nov. 19, at Lakeside Lounge in White Lake.
Bachelors One, 1967 Cass Lake Road in Keego Harbor, hosts a Benefit for Leanna, 1 p.m., Nov. 20. Admission is $10, with buffet dinner, live music, 50/50 and raffles. T-shirts and wristbands will also be available for purchase with Steve's quote, "Finish strong."
Memorials may also be made to his church,
First Missionary Church, 4832 Clintonville Road.
"He helped us. The least we can do is help him," Michael said.
"He taught us to help each other," said Noah Nicklin. "We want to show honor for him."
He was inspiration to players throughout the league, said Karen.
"He gave them inspiration that will remain with them throughout their careers," she said. "He was a great guy and will be very very missed."
"He taught me how to run hard and all the plays, 100 maybe," said Max Nicklin.
"He was energetic," Zack Talovich said. "He would get excited and run around."
"He always had a positive attitude," said. Noah. "He had a big heart. He knew how to win and he cheered us on."
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.