Oct. 26, 2012
Tyler Shaw ready to write next chapter for Bearcats
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m.
Stadium: Yager Stadium
Radio: Bearcat Radio Network
John Coffey (play-by-play), Matt Gaarder (color), Matt Brown (sideline);
Heard on on seven stations that covers four states in the Midwest, and on the Internet from the flagship station KXCV.
Rankings (AFCA/D2Football/NCAA Super Region 3):
Series: Northwest leads the all-time series 25-6. The Bearcats have also won the last 7 meetings and the last 9 in Topeka.
Northwest: Adam Dorrel (Northwest '97) 18-4 (2nd season)
Washburn: Craig Schurig (Colorado Mines '87) 79-45 (11th season)
Game Quick Links
By David Boyce
When Northwest Missouri State senior wide receiver Tyler Shaw runs routes Saturday afternoon at Washburn, his mind will not wander into thoughts about how he would announce this game or frame a photo.
The game against the Ichabods will require total focus for Shaw and the rest of the Bearcats. Both teams are 7-1 overall and fighting for first place in the MIAA and a spot in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
“The destiny is in our hands,” said Shaw, who is majoring in journalism and is scheduled to graduate in May. “Whatever you have to do to control your destiny, you have to do it, whether it is the little things or go out and make plays.
“If we win out, we are in the playoffs. If we lose, we are out.”
Northwest, Washburn, Missouri Western and Emporia State all have one conference loss. Over the final three weeks of the regular season, the top teams will battle each other for the top spot.
It’s the fun time in the football season. It is also a time that drips with pressure. The Bearcats relish these moments.
Northwest put itself in this position by the way it responded to a loss in the second week of the season at Central Missouri.
Shaw played a role in helping the Bearcats quickly avoid a mediocre season. He has produced on the field, hauling in 35 receptions for 623 yards and seven touchdowns.
In addition, his influence was felt in the locker room and on the practice field. He shared his years of experience with the Bearcats to the younger receivers.
“I just continue to do my job as one of the top receivers in the core and go out there and do what I can do to help my team out, trying to convert first downs or blocking,” Shaw said. “I’m trying to do my job. That’s what I’m trying to instill in other receivers to do the same thing.”
It’s this kind of leadership that football coaches rely on to build a championship team.
Northwest coach Adam Dorrel appreciates the growth he has seen from Shaw over the years.
“I like the way he has really matured as a receiver,” Dorrel said. “He has gotten bigger and stronger. He has gained healthy weight. He has been more versatile. We are moving him all over the field.”
“The thing I like most is his leadership. I talked to him about it. He has responded well. He’s definitely the leader of that group and one of our leaders in offense.”
Shaw said none of the players on the team liked the way they felt after the loss.
The offense during the first few weeks of the season struggled. Part of the problem was the injuries to some key players.
Still, the offense knew it could play at a higher level.
“We are just executing better, practicing better and playing more with a chip on our shoulders,” Shaw said. “We are doing the little things that we haven’t been doing earlier in the season.
“We are playing more for each other and this program.”
All the championship teams at Northwest have had that component. The togetherness is one of the things that has made Shaw’s time at Northwest so rewarding.
“Meeting the people, the coaches and guys here have helped me grow and taught me a lot,” Shaw said. “I am mostly a home body. If it is not the family, I’m not really the type to venture out.
“Now, I have added so many people to my family, people who I do consider blood even though they are not literally blood.”
The Bearcat family arrives to Washburn on Saturday for a regular-season game with a playoff atmosphere. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Yager Stadium.
The players know they will have to bring their hard hats be ready to battle for 3 hours.
“Our kids understand that you go on the road and play at somebody’s Homecoming, you are going to get a lot from them,” Dorrel said.
“I have a lot of respect for Washburn coach Craig Schurig and what he’s done. He turned that football program around. The thing about them is they are tough. They are physical and fundamentally sound. That is a recipe for success.
“The thing I like is our kids know they are going to face a physical, well-disciplined team that plays hard.”
It’s the perfect game for a budding broadcaster or photographer to be at and tell the story.
One day, Shaw might be on the other side.
“Photography is new and an enjoyment for me,” Shaw said. “I never took pictures before. It is cool you take an image and it means so much more.
“I just like to talk sports. I’m pretty knowledgeable about sports.”
On Saturday, Shaw will participate in the newest chapter in the expanding story of Northwest football.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468