Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jordan Snyder to Pursue Football Dream at Peru State

Jordan Snyder’s dream is not done by any stretch of the imagination even though his playing days at North/West Nodaway are over. He will pursue his football dream at Peru State starting this fall. He said the biggest difference between high school and college ball was the level of commitment required – at Peru, athletes are expected to stay in shape year ‘round. Snyder squatted as much as 500 pounds at North Nodaway, but he will he going up against kids who are much bigger and quicker than he is. “The goal is still the same,” he said. “My goal is to push the starting nose tackle hard in practice, because I want his starting position.”

An avid storyteller, he can keep one enthralled all day with his stories about his playing days at North Nodaway and the North/West Nodaway Muskets. He credits his parents, Jeremiah and Jenni Snyder, for giving him the work ethic he needed and his coaches for pushing him hard in practice. “I want to be able to look back at this and say that I did the best I could,” said Jordan. “My coaches – Webster, Clark, and Marriott – all taught me that I needed to keep moving no matter what.”

Snyder was stuck behind Ty Cowan and then Blake Farnan during his underclass days. Practices under Coach Webster were all-out wars, whether it was Snyder against Farnan or Cowan or Trevor Meyer against Daytona Lutz. Webster had to stop and remind his players that they were one team and that they had one goal.

But when he became a senior, Jordan Snyder got new coaches in Coach Clark and Coach Marriott. “Coach Clark was all about defense and technique,” he said. “He taught me how to rip and swim, how to explode out of the three point stance, and really opened my eyes up. He encouraged me to play both sides of the ball,” he said. Playing at Peru State or any college program requires discipline, something Coach Clark preached. “If we did something wrong, we had to do hills for it,” said Snyder. “It made me a better player and helped me to keep pushing.”

And even though the score didn’t always show it, Jordan said he could look back with his head held high. “The games against Stanberry and South/Nodaway-Holt were some of the best football I ever played,” he said. He kept going even though at one point, he lost a strap trying to make a tackle against the Spartans. “I’m glad my high school career ended against Stanberry,” he said. “That was the first time we scored on a team like that and didn’t turn around and give it right back to them.”
At Peru, there will be kids from all over the midwest and nobody else from Northwest Missouri, let alone eight man. Snyder said it would be different with 11 players on the field instead of eight; he said there would be a lot more smashmouth football. But the fundamentals are still the same. “I’m not the biggest kid out there, but if I want something, I will work for it,” he promised.

One thing that prepared Jordan for college was playing middle linebacker in a JV game in a pinch; he said Coach Clark was encouraging him to try different positions. “It took me a play to realize what I had to do; once I did it, I got the hand of it. [Starting linebacker] Levi Hoyt thanked me afterwards,” said Snyder.

Initially, Snyder said that he wanted to be a mechanic after his high school days were over. But when he was able to return from two scary injuries during his freshman year and come back to become one of the best lifters the program has produced, the idea of playing college ball grew on him. He said he blew his ACL out and played on it until October. Then, he tore his labrum after he recovered in time to play baseball that year.

His sophomore year was the first year that North and West Nodaway came together to form a football cooperative. “Nobody said we could do it, but we came together after practicing for three weeks and played like we had done so our whole lives,” said Jordan. “The fact that people kept saying that it couldn’t be done drove us. I’m glad I got to play with Koby Reynolds, Trevor Meyer, and those guys.” That year, North/West Nodaway went to the Final Four and won a district title after dropping their first two games. Koby Reynolds, Trevor Meyer, and the rest of the receiving corps rewrote the eight man record book that year. The fact that practices were all-out war, said Snyder, made them better players. “I became a better player and Blake Farnan became a better player because of it,” he said. Snyder recounted one time when they went to the West Nodaway practice field after a recent rain and they did a drill in the mud. “Blake Farnan destroyed me that day,” said Jordan. “We were still a team.”

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