Keck voted a captain, always been a leader

The recruiting process is looked at as a time of indulgence by some. A time that is focused on the player and their future. Michael Keck is concerned about his future, but he doesn't want to look past the now. Voted a team captain for this upcoming year, Keck wants to give this season his all.

Although still technically a junior, Michael Keck took part in a senior captain meeting for Harrisonville (Mo.). There are goals to be set, but more than that there are ideals to keep going. Making this team to be the best that it can possibly be and get back to a state championship.

"We had our captains meeting tonight," Keck said. "We have a big philosophy set out for the season and stuff like that. It's the way that we are going to approach certain things."

Keck is a captain for Harrisonville for the first time not because he has now just become a leader. Keck has been a leader since strapping on the pads. It was more a coming of age. "A captain on our team can only be a senior. I've looked at myself as a leader before I was even voted as a captain."

Leaders are defined by many things. Keck realizes this too and identified the many ways that he thinks he has acted as a leader. He also went beyond that and really spoke to what the leadership should lead to. It's about getting to that ultimate level of a team gelling and being one.

"First, for me, is by example. That is like the lowest level of leadership for me. Actually I look at it as building relationships with people, making them better, and just being a friend. Having that relationship. They need to trust you and you need to trust them. You know that everyone has to perform in a situation and when they do things get done."

Keck knows that this team this year will be a good football team. There is some added pressure to repeat some past performances. Performances that have made them a bit of a marked team. A marked team that is getting put into some awkward situations sometimes even.

"I don't know. I think that we'll be just fine. Some people need to step up. We'll probably have a little bit bigger target (on our backs) than what we have had. We're still getting better. We've had a bulls eye on our back for two years now since we won a state championship."

"I'd rather get everyone's best effort. This morning we were talking about a 5A school and we are 3A. They have 50% more students than we do. This team beat us my sophomore year and after the game a reporter came over to my coach and asked him how it felt because they beat us."

The recruiting process is just into the evaluation phase, but recruits can get a good idea what the fall might be like when it's in full-swing. It hasn't been a distraction now for Keck, but he doesn't want it to become one this fall either when the season and his team deserve his attention.

"During the football season I don't want that. It might come down to needing to do that, but I don't want it to. I just want to play ball and hang out with my friends. Try and be as good as we can. Recruiting may have to go to the back-burner when I need to be with my team."

One interesting idea by Keck could be that a decision might be made either before his senior year even comes or very early into the process. "My senior year definitely comes before determining where I will be going to college. I want to do the best that I can now and then we will look forward."

"I may take some visits during my season. I kind of want to make my decision before it (the season). If it comes down it I will probably take some official visits. I am going to go a lot of places this summer."

Keck is going to do a lot of his homework on the schools that have offered and see their campus and facilities this summer in an effort to avoid the official visit distractions this fall. His possible trip plans put him all over the map.

"I am going to see a lot. Like I am going to go to Alabama and if any other schools offer me from around there I will probably get over there. I am probably going to go to Arkansas and going to try and get up to Wisconsin. All of the schools around here I will probably hit a couple of more times."

"I'll go see like Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri around here. I will make it back up to Nebraska. Nebraska has been in steady contact with me since the evaluation period started. Coach Kevin Cosgrove has been up to my school twice already."

The recruiting coach for Nebraska could potentially be Keck's defensive coordinator. It has given him valuable information about how things might be if he chose Nebraska. "I like Coach Cosgrove a lot. I think that we have a good relationship. I don't know exactly how it would be if I were to go there, but from what I know now he's a pretty good guy and I could probably have a pretty good relationship with him."


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