A leader in the field: Michael Werner’s football excellence


Spencer Kimball

Pictured above, senior Michael Warner (57) playing defense at South’s homecoming game. Werner plays offensive and defensive line for the South varsity football team and just won the Stacy Robinson award. Photo: Spencer Kimball

Oliver Hall, Staff Writer

Football can be a lot of things to a lot of people but to some, it’s a family. The Stacy Robinson award is given to the leader of that family every year and this year that leader was senior Michael Werner.

Sylence Mckinnie is a sophomore who plays on the varsity team who shared his appreciation for Werner. “I’ve been looking up to Werner since I was in the 5th grade and he’s always been there for me telling me wrong from right, telling me what to do and what not to do.”

Werner plays the offensive and defensive line for the South varsity team. Werner describes the Stacy Robinson award as “a community leadership award and it honors kids in the Twin Cities that excelled in football and led their team and were leaders in the community.” Werner described the simple process that got him the award: “My football coach Lossow nominated me for it it was because of my community volunteer work like volunteering at youth camps and stuff like that.”

Coaches are obviously a big part of any football team. Mckinnie discussed what impact coaches have had on the team. “The coaches, they make the best of us. They energize us they even keep us on our feet when we’re feeling down in school and some of us don’t wanna be in school and they tutor us, they give us food when we cant eat. They just do everything in their power to make us become better men.”

Rodney Lossow is the South High football coach and had a big part in Werner receiving the award (especially seeing as he nominated). Lossow nominated Werner for a reason, “He has solid integrity and was All District Why We Play Award recipient the past two seasons,” Lossow said in an email interview.

If anyone has a good perspective on what impact football can have a person, it’s the coach. “They learn how to accept responsibility, reject passivity, lead courageously, remain humble, serve one another and love each other unconditionally,” said Lossow.

Mckinnie believes that being a leader in sports has criteria that can be very difficult to live up to. “[It] takes courage and responsibility and toughness, you gotta be the one to take all the hits to the face. You have to be more mature, responsible, knowledgeable.”

Werner has a simple method for being an effective leader in football. “You just gotta have the right attitude, not everybody’s a leader. You just gotta step up when it’s needed.”

Mckinnie respects Werner a lot. “He’s the pack leader. Everything we do is because of Werner. You follow his lead, you work out with him. We train, he provides us with food.” Mckinnie believes that football can provide something important for students like Werner. “He’s just a guy that grew up with nothing and when he finally figured out that all he needed was a family which he had all along then he became the man that he is today.”

Mckinnie believes that this is something that sports can provide a sense of family to those who might struggle with that at home. “Most of the time I feel like when I play football I have a better family than when I’m at football sometimes because they all care about me. When I’m down they’re down. When somethings not right with one player we’re all not right. We bring that energy to each other.”

Werner agrees that you can take a lot away from sports. “Football changed my life completely it made me into a completely different person. If I wouldn’t have been playing football I probably wouldn’t be in school right now to be honest. It taught me a lot. It gave me a goal to have in life. It taught me humility, it taught me to be humble.”

Mckinnie stated how he got the most out of football. “You just gotta go out there and you just gotta be connected with people and hopefully they’ll play. Football is not always a sport that someone wants to play.” Group activities like football can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people but to some people they can be families and those families have their leaders and for the South high varsity team that leader is Michael Werner.