NW Bearcat Football

Bearcat football celebrates the program's sixth national championship after defeating North Alabama 29-3 Dec. 18. 

When a spectacle such as Bearcat football rolls around, few can put into perspective what the big man upstairs is actually up to.

It is not by luck or sheer chance that Northwest has become a football powerhouse, but by the grace of something much bigger.

This situation in particular can be directly related to a few select individuals who have helped construct the Northwest football dynasty as well as continue the work in His kingdom above.

Northwest has hired 20 head coaches in the football program’s history, but just two have hoisted a national title in the position.

Athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma and now Abilene Christian coach Adam Dorrel have been at the center of it all, collecting three national championships each for a Division II best six total titles.

Though different in coaching styles, the two remain identical in faith.

Earlier in the season I spoke with Tjeerdsma about his love for Jesus and how this has factored into his position at Northwest.

Several times faith has put him in situations that could have potentially carried him away to bigger programs.

After much prayer and meditation, the answer was clear. Though Tjeerdsma applied for a job at the University of Texas-San Antonio, former University of Miami coach Larry Coker took the position.

His calling in life resided with Northwest.

Though Dorrel is positioned in a different situation, the longtime Maryville native needed a different challenge.

Moving to Abilene Christian caused Dorrel to express his true identity in Christ to Abilene Christian president Phil Schubert.

“I was blown away in listening to Adam Dorrel talk about his faith and his passion,” Schubert said. “To lead young men in a deeper understanding in who Jesus was and how he’s called them to be leaders into the world is one of the big attractions to Adam.”

It is easy to see that Dorrel clearly displays love and passion for his Lord and Savior.

The thought of glory and success can be sometimes overlooked and passed up in the moment.

Northwest students, fans and alumni are spoiled. I am not saying that in an offensive or bad way but 30 straight wins at the NCAA Division II level is something some can barely fathom. The great win streak is only second to Grand Valley State (40). Over the past four years, Northwest has only fallen twice.

The Northwest football program has shown complete command over almost every team it has faced. A big target plastered on players’ backs only adds to how special this once in a lifetime experience has been.

Week after week a championship level team takes the field and produces championship level results. A true testament that only such work may be be crafted and intricately woven by the big man himself.

Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The expectation in Maryville is to win, both at the college and high school level.

The last time Northwest lost was Nov. 22, 2014. That is a total of two years or 25 months, or otherwise displayed as 756 days since the last time fans have watched the boys in the spiffy dark green and white adidas uniforms fall.

Though the Spoofhounds have not reaped the rewards of postseason success, they still lay claim as one of the top teams in Missouri Class 3 football, holding a perfect 45-0 regular-season record under the direction of coach Matt Webb.

Webb has also guided Spoofhound football to back-to-back Class 3 state crowns in 2012 and 2013.

In the 2016 season, Maryville outscored opponents 716-150. Following another state championship appearance, the 2017 class graduates 22 members of the Spoofhound squad, a group that has only lost three times in their high school career.

There is no other explanation for the events that have transpired since the late 1990s to present day football in Maryville, Missouri and only one other knows. He sits above us all.

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