Life lessons gets former Pioneer ready for adversity

The beginning of the college football world for Drew Sachen didn’t come easy.

The former Leavenworth Pioneer – class of 2016 – finished a strong prep athletic career as a wrestler and track athlete to go along with his love of football.

He made the trek from the First City of Kansas to St. Joseph, Missouri, to become a member of the Missouri Western football team with hopes of making an impact for a program playing in the best conference in Division II.

Early on, he battled injuries and saw his freshman year put on hold as he redshirted to get healthier and in turn, get even stronger.

During that, he still found time to reflect on the reality of his next stage in his athletic life.

“The rudest awakening was when you're a freshmen and stop getting reps because they're focused on the starters,” Sachen said. “Losing reps is something personally I've never had to do. There is nothing easy about college athletics that's why only so many are capable of playing at that level.”

Despite those struggles, Sachen still has had quite the experience so far.

“Since I'm still in my early days of college I shouldn't struggle to remember to many (highlights),” Sachen said. “The highs where definitely going out with teammates and having so much freedom. The lows where the waking up at 4 a.m. after the late, late nights with your teammates.”

Sachen has learned what a hopeful high school player needs to understand and do better at or keep doing to take their game to the next level.

“You have to be more responsible for your studying and social life then also be ready to work out for an hour or so every day, another hour or so of film then the multiple hours of practice,” Sachen said. “Make sure you see the trainer to take care of your bumps and bruises. Then try and fit time in to eat and being a redshirt, you do everything you're supposed to do and not even touch the field on game day.”

One thing Sachen has to accept is the reality of a coaching change after the staff that recruited him was let go for a new regime.

“Getting use to a new coaching staff is hard because you don't know any of them,” Sachen said. “It just takes time and a tip to new athletes, the harder you work the more they're going to like you.”

Sachen places a lot of importance on responsibility, integrity, mental and physical toughness, a positive attitude and commitment, much of what he developed as an athlete at Immaculata High School in his early prep days and later at Leavenworth.

He thinks back of fondly.

“I remember sitting out because the transfer rule,” Sachen says of the days following his time at IMAC. “I remember how much the coaches loved you and how still today I talk to (Justin) Bode, (Mark) Littrell, (Jacob) Beck, (Joe) Allison, (Jordan) Mellott, (Cassie) Rockers, all of the coaches I've had I still talk to. They will still do anything to help me because they care for me.”