I recently received a letter from former Kane High School standout athlete Jim Chavez that I would like to share with you. I believe this really is a great little story for the community to share.
Jim was a 1966 graduate of Kane and has had the great pleasure of being able to talk with Joe Paterno, the former head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team who passed away recently.
Two of Jim's classmates, George Kulka and Dave Rakecki, went on to play football for Paterno at Penn State. Jim went on to college at Kansas. After college he coached high school football in Colorado and had the pleasure to meet Joe Paterno when they came to Colorado to play the Air Force Academy. A few years later he took a football player with him to the Penn State-Nebraska game in Lincoln, Neb. After the game he was talking to former Penn State Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti whom he met when they played Air Force. Cappelletti was with the NFL Los Angeles Rams at that time but had a banged up ankle so he took time to come watch Penn State.
Paterno came out of the locker room (PSU was up 14-0 at halftime and then got blown away in the second half). Joe said he remembered Chavez and so they had a nice chat. Chavez said, "I was amazed how calm he was and how he was able to put the game of football in a proper perspective to the reality of life."
See full article by purchasing the Jan. 30 edition of The Kane Republican.