Friday night football is an American tradition, and American Family Radio recently launched a Friday Night Football contest to join in the fun. JJ Jasper and Ron Shank, the AFR morning team, told their listeners that they would pick a contest winner, then travel to the winner’s town, sit in the bleachers, wear the local team colors and cheer for the local team.
Jasper and Shank asked listeners to e-mail on essay of 200 words or less explaining why they thought the morning show hosts should come to their town and root for their team. Entries came from all across the nation. The winning essay was submitted by Melinda Clark of Britt, Iowa.
Clark was one of four Britt listeners who urged the on-air personalities to come to North Central Iowa and cheer for the West Hancock Eagles. In her entry, Clark shared the story of Cody Schmit, an Eagles team member, who died July 1 as the result of an accident five days earlier.
Clark wrote: “Each Thursday night, the football players visit Cody’s grave together, sometimes visiting Friday after the game. Our Eagle mascot wears his jersey. The first offensive play of the season was played with 10 men, leaving his position open. Moments of silence are observed, his number is on a patch sewn on jerseys and his number is on the back of helmets. Losing Cody has united the community. It would be an honor for you to see it.”
Jasper and Shank will be at Sanger Field in Britt, Iowa, Friday night October 15 to cheer for the Eagles in honor of Cody Schmit. The experience will be emotional especially for Jasper, who lost his only son in an accident in July 2009.
The radio team is heard during early morning drive time on American Family Radio, a network of 192 stations that reach into 35 states, and online at www.afr.net.