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Luther Okeyo

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November 11, 2014

This is it…. Senior Week…

November 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Wow this it… This game against Avila is my last guaranteed home game in an MNU uniform. It’s very bitter sweet for me. One hand we will outright win the conference this week with a win against Avila but on the other it’s my last home game ever as an MNU pioneer. It’s one the last times I will ever put on the pioneer uniform. I’ve had some great memories here, it’s hard to believe that it’s all coming to an end.

On March 23, 2011, I made the committment to come to MNU, little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

On March 23, 2011, I made the commitment to come to MNU, Little did I know how much this would change my life. There is my mom on the left, and on the right, the man who made all this possible, John Diaz.

The journey to where I am has been long, amazing, frustrating, and many other verbs I can’t really think of right now. Either way this journey changed my life in a way I ever really thought possible. We all have an idea of what college is about, but MNU gives it’s students a very unique college experience.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would've known that would've lead to where I am right now.

Here I am, as a Freshman. Weighing in at a lofty 160 pounds, with my whole future ahead of me. Who would’ve known that would’ve lead to where I am right now.

Throughout my football career here at MNU I’ve basically seen it all. I’ve been through the highs and lows. Like my freshman and sophomore year when we were rolling, winning the huge games, playing for HAAC championships, and most special of all playing at Pioneer stadium (not trying to start anything but come on, we need that thing built!) I’ve seen football at MNU change so much, and I’ve even been apart by one of the biggest things a football program can go through, a coaching change. With a new coaching staff comes a new philosophy, a new way to do things, and a new approach to the game of football.

It’s amazing to see what coach Willmer has done to the program, in just his first year. We shocked the world. Nobody outside of the MNU faithful even gave a chance to do anything this year, we were supposed to be rebuilding, and we let everyone know that we are ready to go. I can’t wait to see where coach leads this program in the years to come.

Shoutout to the senior class, we stuck it out through it all, the 5-5 season last year, waking up at 5 am to work out in January and February, spring ball, fall camp, I mean I could keep going on and on. There is never going to be a senior class like ours.

Here we are, the senior class for the 2014 MNU Pioneers football team:

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#1 Linebacker – Justin Vargas

#2 TE - Zach "Carrot Top" Brandsted

#2 Tightend – Zach “Carrot Top” Brandsted

#7 Cornerback - DeRahn "Primetime" Williams

#7 Cornerback – DeRahn “Primetime” Williams

#8 Wide Receiver - Chris "Money Man" Fields

#8 Wide Receiver – Chris “Money Man” Fields

#14  Wide Receiver - Taylor "TD" Davis

#14 Wide Receiver – Taylor “TD” Davis

#24 Running Back - Charles Quainoo

#24 Running Back – Charles Quainoo

#32 Long Snapper - Will Hertel

#32 Long Snapper – Will Hertel

#44 Defensive Lineman - Mason "Mad Dogg" Mathews

#44 Defensive Lineman – Mason “Mad Dogg” Mathews

#45 - "Pretty Boy" Nick Richardson

#45 Linebacker – “Pretty Boy” Nick Richardson

#47 - JT "They Call Him Nasty" Braddock (Don't ask... I don't know why they call him that)

#47 Defensive Lineman – JT “They Call Him Nasty” Braddock (Don’t ask… I don’t know why they call him that)

#52 Defensive Lineman - Demarco Kemp

#52 Defensive Lineman – Demarco Kemp

#53 Offensive Lineman - Armand Banks

#53 Offensive Lineman – Armand Banks

#73 Offensive Lineman - Jose "Burrito" Carillo-Ayala (He's the guy on the left)

#73 Offensive Lineman – Jose “Burrito” Carillo-Ayala (He’s the guy on the left)

#74 Offensive Lineman - Andrew "Chevy" Sexton-Chavoya

#74 Offensive Lineman – Andrew “Chevy” Sexton-Chavoya

#87 Wide Receiver - Yours Truly Luther "Crunchy" Okeyo

#87 Wide Receiver – Yours Truly Luther “Crunchy” Okeyo

 

 

 

 

 

Luther Okeyo

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November 11, 2014

Baker Week

November 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Aright I want you to picture this, it’s late in the fourth quarter, Baker has driven down to our 3 yard line and they are lining up for a 20 yard field goal. If you know anything about football you know that a 20 yard field is a chip shot for any kicker (well most kickers). The game will be won or lost on this play. George Tombaugh with the call…

If there ever was a play that exemplified our season, this is it. Every time it looked like we were down and out, somebody comes up with a huge play to keep us alive. This time it was Coop and Primetime coming up with the play this time. Throught out my MNU life, one of the biggest and parts of it are times we play Baker no matter what sport. I mean IT’S BAKER!!! Ok it’s really hard to explaining you just gotta be here to experience it.

Anyway back to the game. If you weren’t able to watch the game, you really missed out on a great game. I mean it really had everything, think about it, it was homecoming week, IT WAS BAKER WEEK, they were ranked as the #2 in the nation. Nobody really gave us a chance, to win the game. From the very beginning, the game went back and forth, but we struck first with Coop picking off a Baker pass, in which turned into a field goal. After swapping TDs, it just became a defensive slugfest with both offenses struggling to score. The score at halftime 14-10 with us winning. Javon Taylor had the play of first half with his 53 yard TD. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker started the second half off hot. They scored twice in the 3rd quarter, but we responded with a TD drive of our own. Using a little trick we’ve been saving for a game like this. George Tombaugh with the call…

Baker wasn’t the #2 team in the nation for nothing. They took back the lead and had a chance to ice the game in the fourth quarter before Coop and Prime made the play of the game. But 2 penalties pushed us back to the 44 yard line. A couple plays later, on 3rd and 18, Sunshine found Simmy for a key first down, but Simmy did more than just get a first down. George Tombaugh with the call…

We ended up winning the game in overtime, on a 2 yard TD run on fourth down run by Erik May. It was a great game, probably the best game I have ever been apart of.  We took over the top spot in the HAAC, we once again shocked the world and now it’s time for us to finish the season strong. On a year where MNU was so supposed to be rebuilding, we showed everyone we are for real and we put the nation on notice.

One of the stand outs was Trent "Sunshine" Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

One of the stand outs was Trent “Sunshine” Hedlund. He was 26-38 for a career-high 307 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense.  He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Javon Taylor aka the muscle hamster, once again balled out, he is the horse that really carries our offense. He ran 14 times for 60 yards and caught 6 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Ok it's about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and on of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN. He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation total scoring. This man is a beast.

Ok it’s about time that this kid gets his props. This is our kicker Cristian Casillas, he is only a freshman but he is the best kicker in the HAAC, and one of the best kickers in the nation and HE IS ONLY A FRESHMAN!! He leads the nation in field goals, total field goals, scoring and is second in the nation in total scoring. This man is a beast.

 

 

Aaron Merrell

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November 1, 2014

Future Fears

November 1, 2014 | By | No Comments

Trusting everyone has had a fantastic week, and I hoping you’re all enjoying your weekend.  My weekend consists of hanging with friends for Halloween, spending some time at home, and performing with MNU Choirs tomorrow at 3:30!

This week, my brother gave me a great topic to think about: the future.

The future used to terrify me more than anything.  I used to think about my college plans, then about real life and grad school, and it would all get me terribly stressed out. Picking a school, picking a major, and from there a career, and where I wanted to go with that career eventually, and then about starting a family are unavoidable topics and they are every important to think about.  Though it is imperative that we remember to discuss these topics, we also need to remember that what’s going on currently in our lives is also a priority.

In order to train myself not to panic about the future, who would leave my life and who would enter, I had to stop placing so much urgency on those decisions.  Like I said, we need to make the decisions, but we won’t make the right choice unless we slow down and consider everything separately.  After we have considered this, we can think about the future and what the decision is going to mean for our future lives and families.

The future has become an exciting place for me rather than a scary one.  Just by calming down and taking a step back once in a while, I have realized how excited I am to graduate and start working, wherever I happen to move, whatever I happen to do, and whoever I happen to be with.  I know that if I put my faith and trust in Him, I will make the right decisions and follow his will, as I constantly work to make his will my will.

 

It’s all a process, but it’s not too much of a difficult one. Just continue to pray about choices, the future and ask God to make his plan clear to you!  You can find so much truth and evidence of His faithfulness to your present, which was once your future. just by studying his word, something that takes nearly no time to do every day.

 

Praying everyone has a blessed rest of your weekend and next week!

See you soon!

-Aaron.

Luther Okeyo

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October 30, 2014

Just Became an Uncle!!!!!!!

October 30, 2014 | By | No Comments

Yesterday I found out that my cousin Jacque gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I was shocked when I heard, I found out right before practice.

This is my cousin Jacque (left) and her sister Mitchelle (right) before my Uncle's wedding a couple of years ago.

This is my cousin Jacque (left) and my other cousin Mitchelle (right) before my Uncle’s wedding a couple of years ago.

Anyway enough about my cousin, its all about the baby right now. First of all the baby’s name is Leo Njinu. He was 3.2 kgs or 7.1 lbs. He is so adorable and cute, I’m mad that I haven’t even seen him yet.

Look at him he is so cute. I can't believe that I'm his uncle and i can't wait to meet him.

Look at him he is so cute. I can’t believe that I’m his uncle and I can’t wait to meet him.

Well this is a new frontier for me. It is just amazing to think that I’m an uncle now. It’s just a shame that I haven’t been able to meet him yet. Leo, welcome to the family and I’m excited to watch you grow. I can’t wait to meet you and see the man you become.

 

Luther Okeyo

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October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom (well sort of)

October 27, 2014 | By | 6 Comments

Last Saturday was my mom’s birthday and I’ll be honest with you I’m a huge mommas boy. You see I’m an only child and for as long as I can remember it just been my mom and I taking on every challenge that life threw at us.

This my mom, Grace Mbere Gachanja. The most wonderful woman in my life. Look at us representing even when I was little.

This my mom, Grace Mbere Gachanja. The most wonderful woman in my life. Look at us representing even when I was little.

She has accomplished a lot of things just during my lifetime, let alone here. She is my rock, my inspiration when I’m down, and she always knows just what to say (as all mothers should). We both born in Kenya, a country in East Africa. Back in the day my mom was quite the athlete and she was a beast on the track, she ran the 400 & 800 meters in high school. She then went to college and became a nurse. (She had me along the way but most of that information is classified.) My mom was trailblazer in outr family, she was the first person to go to college, the first to graduate from college and just to top it all of she got her Ph.D just over a year ago.

The day my mom graduated from grad school. I couldn't be more proud of her and she is always setting the standard but don't worry I'll be right behind here.

The day my mom graduated from grad school. I couldn’t be more proud of her and she is always setting the standard but don’t worry I’ll be right behind here. (What am I pointing at)

Sure I could tell you about all of her accomplishments but you wanna know why she is so important to me? Back when we used to in Iowa (Oh oh Midwest Shout Out!), my mom worked three jobs, found a way to put me through school, while she was also going to school to receive her masters degree, and she still was there for me when I needed like when I was in accident in the 4th grade and my bike was destroyed (I know it sounds bad, but actually it’s a funny story, but that’s for another time.) If she was able to do all that, I have no excuse. I’m going to do everything in my power to be there for her. Happy Birthday Mom, I can’t wait to see you again.

Samantha Moore

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October 15, 2014

Shout outs to my homies!

October 15, 2014 | By | No Comments

This week is all about the shout outs to some of my favorite people on and off campus! You meet so many people during your four years at MNU you could practically fill up a book of yellow pages! That is what makes MNU so amazing, is all the people you meet along the journey. So this week I dedicated to a few special people!

mnu girls

These girls mean a lot to me! They understand me and have been there for me since the very beginning when we all found out we got elected as executive members for Assocaited Student Government! Presley, Alyssa, Kristi, Lauren and Kylen (starting from the left).They encourage me to keep going even when times are frustrating. Thanks for the support girls! #girlsruleboysdrool

becca senior

This is Becca. If you have guys read my last blog you would remember that she has been one of my best friends since Freshman year and last year we lived together. Well her senior night was last night and it was amazing. They beat Benediction in a 3-0 upset. I made this collage for her from pictures since freshman year of us at her games. She is a great volleyball player and a great friend!

bre

A few weekends ago some of my friends and me went to the lake to help celebrate my friend Nancy who was getting married. It was such a fun and relaxing weekend. This is Bre, she graduated from MNU with a nursing degree and her husband Rustin also graduated from MNU and played basketball. She is such a sweet girl and we had a blast at the Lake of the Ozarks.

tailgate

This is Kristi. She is on ASG and her role is Director of Pioneer Spirit, which means she gets people pumped about the upcoming games that are happening. This was from our first football game when ASG put on a tailgate. The team won and we had a great turn out at the event. She is a great planner and a even greater friend. She also happens to be hilarious! This is someone you want to get to know if you do not already know her.

parents

These are my awesome parents. This picture is from this summer when we went on a family vacation to Colorado. These two people mean the world to me and so I felt a shout out was in order. They support me and love me no matter what and push me to be a better person. They are always showing up for me and make me want to strive to be a better person. Plus my dad loves watching sporting events so we are buds when it comes to going to different games whether it be a MNU game or the Royals.

Ramsey 3My last shout out goes to my roommates in Ramsey 3! Four of them play soccer. This was from a soccer game they had at the beginning of school. These girls let me love life and teach me how to. They are hilarious and always know how to make me laugh. We have grown so close these first few months from school and I can not wait to see where the year takes us. Thanks for putting up with me and always making me laugh!

 

Well that is it for this week! As always, comment and I would love to chat with you about any questions you have for me! Stay awesome and stay blessed!

 

Mariah McCommon

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October 12, 2014

Philippians 4:13

October 12, 2014 | By | No Comments

Today I’ll be talking about something very personal to me and something I don’t normally share with strangers. I’ve never posted the whole story so here it is for the first time!

This past April I was sitting in my Civil and Criminal Rights class in high school watching a movie and noticed an abnormal bump on my neck. I had never noticed it before so I went to the nurses office. She had no idea what it was but advised a visit to the doctor. Naturally, I went to the doctor and they weren’t sure either. The next step was a biopsy and if anyone has ever had one done, you feel my pain. Those suck. They stuck a needle in my neck twice (while I was awake mind you), and let me just say it was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced physically. Lord have mercy.

So then we had to wait a week or two on results and when they finally arrived, we still didn’t have a clear answer. The results came back “suspicious” of something. Now I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even like science, but suspicious is just not a good word. After more waiting, the doctors decided it was too sketchy not to remove. I went in for my first surgery April 23, 2014. Before this, I had never had surgery or even been in a hospital bed so this was all new to me.

Going into the first surgery happier than a clam

IV’s freak me out so that was really the only downside to the whole surgery thing. All went well and a week later they called and were like, “by the way, you have thyroid cancer.” So that was a real shock to me and my family, but it was okay!! It took me about a minute to process it. Cancer doesn’t run in my family all that much and that was the confusing part. Other than that, I wasn’t worried one bit. I spent the rest of that night with my best friend as if nothing changed.

A week after the first surgery, I went in for the second one to get the rest of my thyroid removed. I kept telling myself that I was going to be okay cause I knew I was. The second round was a little tougher to recover from, but I missed two weeks of school so I mean, that’s a fair trade.

Treatment for the cancer wasn’t awful either. All I did was take a radioactive Iodine pill and stay in a hospital for a couple days because I was radioactive. How cool is that! I kept singing that song by Imagine Dragons too. When I got out of the hospital, I had to keep my distance from people so they wouldn’t be affected by my amazing radiation. Beyond that treatment, all I have to do is take a cute little pink pill before bed the rest of my life since I kinda sorta don’t have a thyroid anymore. I have a nice scar on my neck now and whenever I feel it or see it, I’m reminded of how God has worked in my life. It could’ve been a lot worse, but it wasn’t and I’m thankful. I am still here with my family and friends living a great life.!

Moral of the story, nothing is too big to handle when you have an even bigger God on your side! :)

Keep calm and stay strong friends!

Luther Okeyo

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October 11, 2014

Once In a Lifetime Opportunity

October 11, 2014 | By | No Comments

Every now and then you get to do something extraordinary. Today I, along with the rest of the MNU football team have the privileged to play in the first annual NAIA Gridiron Challenge at Arrowhead Stadium. (YES! BABY, WHERE THE CHIEFS PLAY!!!) It’s also the first “Defeat all Cancer Game.” It was inspired by our offensive coordinator, Bruce Pielstick.

Bruce Pielstick, whose wife of 27 years succumbed to bladder cancer just seven months ago, came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game "Defeat All Cancer."

Coach Pielstick, lost his wife of 27 years to bladder cancer earlier this year. He was the one who came up with the idea to designate the upcoming game “Defeat All Cancer.”

This is a chance to not only play football, but it is a chance to affect people’s lives. There is an article on this game:MNU’s Arrowhead game declared ‘Defeat All Cancer’ game. Every player on the MNU football team who will be on the field today will be representing someone who has been affected or is still affected by cancer. We are going to be wearing colors the represent each cancer. Today I’m going to represent my aunt Taby Mutuku.

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This my aunt Tabi, and one of her sons (everybody calls him Jo Jo). She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year. Luckily they caught it early enough and she had the surgery to remove the cancer last month. It’s amazing to see how strong she is and no matter what happened during this ordeal, she remained faithful and she better care of me than I did of her and I wasn’t the one who had cancer. Her courage was so amazing and through the grace of God, she was able to be healed and now she’s fully steam ahead.

As you can see from the video above, this is so much more than a game. It our chance to change lives, to show people that they are not in this struggle alone. That there are people who are praying for them, people who have been in through their struggles and through us, their fight with cancer has reached a whole new level.

As for the game itself, it still hasn’t hit me that we get to play at Arrowhead Stadium yet.

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The hallowed field of Arrowhead Stadium, there is so much history in this stadium from Super Bowl V and the star QB Len Dawson, the sack master Derrick Thomas, and to the Mr. Everything Jamal Charles. They all have added so much to this field, and today I get to make my little mark on this field as well.

Today we are going to the NFL player experience. We are technically the home team, so we get to dress up in the chiefs locker room. We get basically full access to the whole stadium. We go in through the players entrance, and the Seniors get introduced before the game. Also we are playing our rival Missouri Valley, They are the #7 team in the nation right now, and everyone is counting us out of this game. Hey, it’s a rivalry game and you never know what could happen in a rivalry game. We are going to shock the world today, all while changing people’s lives in the process. I still can’t believe all this happening but it’s going to be an amazing experience.

Katie Linsey

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October 9, 2014

MNU is…

October 9, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

This week, I went around campus asking students and faculty to describe what MNU means to them in a few words. This is what they said… Enjoy!

-KT

Luther Okeyo

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October 8, 2014

Running for a cause

October 8, 2014 | By | No Comments

Last Saturday I had the honor and opportunity to run in the Jared Coones Memorial Pumpkin 5k Run/Walk. Going on its 16th year, this event honors the lives of Jared and Jayne Coones who died of cancer.

Got my shirt and race number. I'm ready for this thing.

Got my shirt and race number. I’m ready for this thing.

MNU is a big sponsor of the event and they have a big tent and they paint people faces. It’s really a cool event. MNU also has a team that runs in the event.

Team MNU in all of its glory

Team MNU in all of its glory

I’m not going to lie the I underestimated the pace of the race but I still did a lot better than I thought. In high school I used to run track. I ran the 400 and 800 in high school. So I haven’t really ran “competitively” in about 5 years, I have a game to play later in the day and my head coach randomly shows up and 2 of his kids are also running in the race. Also I’ve never ran anything like a 5K before so this is all new and dangerous territory.

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Not bad for a guy who has ran in five years. I finished 49 out of 1387 people who ran the 5K competitively, the 47th male of 761 males who competed, also 7th out of 21 in my age group of males 20 to 24.

In the end it was an amazing experience, to be able to do something for higher cause and honor the memories of two people in the process. To be honest the best part of the race was the end when everybody who was in the race were able to get massages after the race.

This man is a life saver.

Shout out to the people at ProCare Chiropractic, Dr. Toby Scott came in the clutch for making sure, I was well taken care of and that I was ready for the game later on the in day. This man is a life saver.

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The race was held at Black Bob elementary, its a couple of blocks from MNU. Right now the race is almost over and everyone is starting to gather in gym for the awards ceremony

At the end of all this I still had a game to play at 6 pm that day at Central Methodist University deep in the back woods of Missouri. Unfortunately we didn’t come out with the win but it was an amazing day. But trust me I’m probably not going to doing all this again. Next we have Missouri Valley at Arrowhead Stadium, its going to be a HUGE game, and man I can’t wait.