By Anvil Welch
The subject was uniform numbers worn by Adam Spieker..
“I don’t remember in the first or second grade,” Spieker said. “Then I quit football until the seventh grade.”
You can bet the fans of Webb City High School football are glad Spieker returned to the gridiron.
Spieker, who helped the Cardinals annex state titles as a sophomore and junior in 2000 and 2001, will have his jersey retired on Friday night at Webb City between varsity basketball games.
Spieker, who later garnered numerous awards as a center at the University of Missouri, didn’t always wear 77.
Cardinal head coach John Roderique recalled that Spieker had No. 2 as a sophomore as mainly a defensive end.
But No. 77 came aboard when Spieker became a two-way lineman for the Cardinals as a junior and senior.
Richard Correll and Dusty Allen were Spieker’s position coaches at Webb City.
“I first saw him as an eighth-grader and he wasn’t playing any offense,” Correll said. “He had a reputation of being a basketball player — his brother Andrew had been pretty good in basketball — more than a football player.
“I returned to high school (as an assistant for Roderique) when Adam was a sophomore and he was a tight end and started at defensive end,” Correll said. “I recall he had a knee operation but was able to return during the season.
“He kept getting bigger and stronger and we probably helped convince him to concentrate on football,” Correll said. “There’s no doubt. He’s the best offensive lineman I’ve coached.”
Said Roderique: “You could see that Adam, because of his strength and size, had a lot of potential. Plus, he worked extremely hard.
Spieker, a 6-foot-3, 305-pounder at Mizzou, has been a Joplin policeman for about six months. He secured his degree in general studies from MU and said he has no regrets.
By Anvil Welch
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