Some athletes have taken their talent in the sport of football and done great things with it…Ike McGuire is a great example of that. McGuire is currently a Junior at Augustana College, where he plays Nose Guard for the Vikings. Ike was a stand-out athlete on both sides of the ball, for both the St. Mary’s Fighting Irish and the Marian Central Hurricanes as an All-Conference Athlete his Senior Year. As we have seen many times in the past, it all started in years ago in 2006 with the Fighting Irish! Ike has found a way to balance God, Family, Academics and Athletics in a way that is truly inspirational and took some time to sit down and talk to us about it.
Tell us about your football journey… how did your love of football start? I have been playing football for as long as I can remember. I was either in third grade when I first started. I joined St. Mary’s football because I wanted to follow my brother’s footsteps and try it out. I was not the best on the team or the worst and I continued to play because I loved the competition. The first position I played was right offensive guard. I then changed to defensive line later on.
After St. Mary’s, I went to Marian Central Catholic High School. I played linebacker my freshman year and changed to defensive end my sophomore year. Defensive End became my primary position the rest of high school and I am currently a nose guard at Augustana College. I continue to play football because I love the sport, the competition, and the comradely.
Teamwork is the most important aspect in football and the team relies on every player in order to be a complete unit. The relationships you make on the football field will be for life. Brotherhood is the best part about the game of football. It teaches you to trust others and for them to trust you. Competition teaches you that nothing in life is given. Earning something you worked hard for will give you pride in yourself. Football will teach you to become a disciplined and trustworthy person as you grow older. Never give up on the hard work. Football will aid you to become the best person you can be.
As you go into your Junior year at Augustana College, what perspective have you gained since being a freshman? Competition will increase with every level you play in. High school to college is a huge jump. Everyone on the team puts in a lot of work to be successful. Everyone grinds the same way. It is tough getting up at 5:30 in the morning during the off season to go workout 4/7 days a week. Practicing 5 days out of the week along with a game during the season is a bigger grind. The whole team goes through the same work and going through it together drives me to put in the work as well.
Last year you sustained a serious leg injury, tell me what it takes to recover from a season-ending injury and what you learned about your dedication or drive? Injuries are never fun and it frustrates anybody who has one. I continued to work out to heal my leg. You must handle an injury day-by-day and not worry about tomorrow’s problems. Focus on what you need to do to make it healthy and always stay on track.
Becoming a starter certainly did not happen overnight…What was your path like and what did you learn about doing whatever you could to help the team? I learned that hard work and selflessness is the best path to help the team. I put in time and effort into everything I did to make myself a better football player.
Tough losses are a part of all sports and not just football…what is something you would want to tell the boys about bouncing back quickly? Do not beat yourself up. Use the feeling of a loss as a lesson. Failure teaches you what it takes to become successful.
What is something you really miss about youth football, something you want the boys to keep in mind while they are living it? Never lose sight of the joy football brings. It is the best sport in the world. Have fun with your teammates and cherish the times you are able to play.
God, Family, Academics, Athletics…what does that mean to you? God is first in your life. He loves you and always has a plan. Family is the strongest connection a person can have. Family teaches you to be selfless. Forget About Me I Love You (F.A.M.I.L.Y). Always work as hard as you do in academics as you do in sports. It is a challenge and will give you the best opportunities for a good future after football.
What is one thing you want to tell the boys about the transition between high school and college football…. what is the biggest difference or the one thing you think they can take in mind if they want to play on that level? Competition and work ethic increases as you enter college ball. Everybody is there because they want to play football as long as they can. Everyone wants the same thing you do and you have to work hard to earn your playing time.