SEWARD, Neb. – Because of a friendly challenge between school presidents, Concordia’s opening football game at William Jewell in Liberty, Mo., on Thursday, Sept. 5 will come with some added zest. Concordia president Brian Friedrich hopes it comes with a side of baked beans and perhaps some burnt ends.
If the Bulldogs claim victory that day, William Jewell president David Sallee must provide Friedrich with Kansas City barbecue. If the Cardinals win, Sallee will be dining on Omaha Steaks courtesy of Friedrich.
Since agreeing upon the challenge several weeks ago, the presidents have engaged in some friendly banter.
“He told me how good it will be to have some of those fresh Omaha Steaks,” Friedrich said. “And I told him how much we’re going to enjoy the Kansas City barbecue.”
While Friedrich says they have not discussed the exact quantities of food that must be offered up by whoever comes up on the short end, Bulldog football coaches were hoping to secure some KC barbecue for themselves when informed of the challenge.
“When I told our coaches that, they got all excited,” Friedrich said. “Coach (Vance) Winter and Coach (Patrick) Daberkow think this might be an event for the whole team, but I don’t know. President Sallee and I haven’t talked about quantity – whether he’s signed up to feed the whole Bulldog team or not. I might have to chip in and make sure the Bulldogs get fed some of that good KC barbecue.”
The wheels first got turning on a possible challenge when Concordia alum and regent Barry Holst, now a resident of Kearney, Mo., visited with Sallee at a civic club meeting at William Jewell. Holst relayed his conversation with Sallee, which included mention of the opening football game, back to Friedrich, who then proposed the challenge. Sallee agreed, giving an added element of fun to the game.
The deal between the school presidents would seem to put more pressure on both sides, but Friedrich says that’s not the case. While he may be more nervous than he has been for past Bulldog football games, Friedrich feels confident that Winter’s squad is up to the task.
“No, not at all,” Friedrich responded when asked if he was trying to put more pressure on the team. “They said, ‘hey, we’re willing to take on that kind of challenge.’”
From Winter’s perspective, the focus is all on the football field.
“I’m glad there’s excitement for this game,” Winter said. “I know our guys are excited and we’ll be able to feel that on campus.
“We need a great couple of weeks of preparation to get ready. We’re very excited to play a Division II team on a Thursday night. We’re looking forward to it.”
In addition to working towards the desired result on the scoreboard, Winter added that he would love to chow down on some barbecue.
Alumni, fans and friends pre-game gathering: All alumni, fans and friends of the Bulldogs are invited to attend a pre-game gathering on Sept. 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Conrad’s Restaurant & Alehouse in Liberty, Mo. Concordia originally hoped to plan a gathering on the William Jewell campus, but President Sallee has orchestrated a tailgate for the entire Cardinal campus community.
For more information on the Bulldog pre-game gathering, check out the event page on Facebook, HERE.
The Opponent: William Jewell, a former NAIA member, resides in the Great Lakes Valley Conference of NCAA Division II. The Cardinals went 2-9 last season with victories over Kentucky Wesleyan College and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. William Jewell sported a record of 1-3 on its home turf at Greene Stadium in 2012.