Pete Adkins' Legacy Lives On
JEFFERSON CITY - Chris Verslues hasn't stepped on the field at Adkins Stadium since October.
At least, not as a football player. Verslues said he played football since third grade, and then track and field in the spring.
Verslues said the memories as a Jay football player outweigh those from his experiences in track. Much like the athletes before him, it's easy to relive the glory days.
"I helped kind of lighten the mood a little bit. Like when people were like feeling down? Just talk to them, not be mean about it or nothing. I wasn't one of those mean seniors who pushed kids around all the time," Verslues said.
He's about to graduate high school. Then he will attend Lincoln University right across the street. In the coming years, you can bet he'll have a smile.
He never thought football would get him to college, but it's definitely helped. He's the winner of the first Pete Adkins Memorial Scholarship in the name of the most successful high school football coach the nation has ever seen.
Pete Adkins coached at Jefferson City High School from 1958 to 1995. He was named Missouri Coach of the Year six times. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and again as a legend on Sunday. Adkins led the Jays to nine state championships and 15 perfect seasons. When he retired, he walked away from the game with the highest winning percentage of any high school football coach in history.
Verslues will recieve a thousand dollars every year for four years. The Jefferson City Football Foundation asked former players from Adkins' tenure to donate money to fund the scholarship attempting to raise $100,000 in three months.
Adkins described what attributes the winner of the scholarship should have.
"A kid that made a big contribution to the program for four or five years. That maybe wasn't the best player on the team, but one that stuck it out," Adkins said.
Verslues said he doesn't know what made him stand out, but he has a few guesses.
"I went to all the practices and the two-a-days. Even though I didn't want to sometimes. But I still came...I mean I was glad to be there," Verslues said.
Adkins stadium doesn't look anything like the former coach would remember it. But from the look of things, the Adkins name will stick around putting kids in college all the while.