Retired Rams player Marshall Faulk's visit to Cassville is likely the most talked about news this week. Faulk was named Offensive Player of the Year and helped lead the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship in 1999. With over 2,000 yards of total offense and 26 touchdowns, an NFL record at that time, Faulk was named NFL MVP in 2000. He ended his career with 12,279 career rushing yards, 100 career rushing touchdowns, 6,875 receiving yards, 36 receiving touchdowns and 19,154 total yards from scrimmage. He is also a seven-time Pro Bowler and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Faulk was an outstanding football player, who had an impressive career, but I am more impressed by the young man who achieved the honor that brought the NFL legend to our small town. Cassville High School senior Drew Henbest has been selected for a national honor that was achieved by only nine other students across the country. He was named a finalist for the U.S. Army -- Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Award for Excellence based on his character on and off the football field. In addition to being a member of the Wildcat football team for the last four years, Drew has served on the Cassville High School Football Leadership Council and is a member of FFA, FCA and National Honor Society. He also takes part in a mission project through his church, Cassville First Baptist, each summer.
Drew may be a force on the football field, but he is a polite, humble young man in person. In his application for the U.S. Army Award for Excellence, Drew was required to complete a 250-word essay defining what excellence means and what character qualities help a student achieve excellence. Drew listed humility, hard work and feeling joy in the completion of hard work as traits required to achieve excellence. "External recognition is not what truly defines excellence," Drew wrote in his essay. "It is the internal reward that comes from humble and joyous hard work that really counts."
It's very exciting that Marshall Faulk journeyed to the small town of Cassville to honor one of our local students, but it is more exciting to realize that one of our students has reached such a high achievement. I hope that other area students aspire to reach equally prestigious awards in the future. Drew Henbest, our local football hero, has set a great example to follow.