Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Bo Schembechler Story Part 7

Coach Bo Schembechler told the discouraged Reggie McKenzie from Highland Park, Michigan, things like “I should kick your ass off the team and son of a bitch, you can do better.” Reggie was having difficulty cutting it because of the onslaught of verbal abuse from Bo. He was embarrassed. He just knew Schembechler didn’t like him. He started questioning his own football abilities. He was confused, unable to think clearly. He considered quitting the team. He talked to his mother and sister JoAnn about leaving the program. It was his big sister JoAnn that shot back, in no uncertain terms, “McKenzie men don’t quit.” An Invaluable insight occurred for Reggie. For some reason, the team were short of tail backs for their spring practice. As such, Preston Henry had to serve as tailback on every play for both the first and second team offenses during that fateful practice. Reggie remembered Henry being as tough as they come. He was not only street tough, but he was football tough, and mentally tough as well. Most of all, the players identified with Henry and felt very sorry for him. It was a grueling day for Henry, who ran upwards of 130 plays in that scrimmage. At the end of practice, coach Schembechler had everyone line up on the sideline to run wind sprints- even the workhouse Preston Henry. Preston Henry said “I’m not going to let him beat me.” With that, Reggie incorporated that attitude into his thinking as well.

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