Beaver Football Finishes at 3-7, Saying Goodbye to Eight Influential Seniors


Allie Hartman

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

When the last whistle blew on the final game of the 2019 season for the Buena Vista Football team, emotions ran high. 


Though the Beavers lost a tough 26-12 battle against the hosting Dubuque Spartans, the mood for Buena Vista was more bittersweet than sad. 


Finishing the year at 3-7 overall, Buena Vista fought and overcame adversity every step of the way. A plethora of season ending injuries. Close losses against nationally ranked teams. But now, the most recent and deepest cutting pain of the year for the team will be losing the eight Seniors who gave their best during their time as Beavers. 


Lots of phrases can be attributed to the members of the Senior class that Head Coach Grant Mollring mentored. Tough. Captain. Friend. Starter. Leader. All-Conference. Energetic. Transfer. Dedicated. Hilarious. Hard-working. 


But to the eight, the most important label they took upon themselves was “family.” 


As the lone Senior captain of the team, Ross Adamson ignored the call of the Simpson Storm back home in Indianola to come be a Beaver in Storm Lake. 


As a three-year starter and a team captain in his final collegiate season, Ross is confident he made the right choice. 


“I came to BV because my brother was a senior my freshman year and that just made it feel like home right off the bat,” says Adamson. 


Adamson was not the only Senior making highlight catches. 


Though they arrived at the Beaver Football program in different years, the duo of Jordan Travis and Ivory Burris both combined to catch passes and stick their hand in the turf when necessary art the tight-end position. 


Travis, a native of Newton, Iowa, spent his fifth-year playing college football at his peak. Travis would snag 25 catches on the year, for a career best 258 yards and a touchdown on top of that. 


Always one up for the challenge of taking on Loras, Travis terrorized the Duhawks this year with seven catches and 83 yards in the overtime thriller. 


Meanwhile, Burris joined the squad in January of 2019, and never looked back. The San Bernandino, California born Burris, much like Adamson, was convinced from the start by BV. 


“Transferring to BV was a no-brainer for me. The intimacy is really what sold me here. I knew that if I were to come here I’d form lifetime bonds,” says Burris. “Even the football team embraced me and accepted me with open arms. The very first day I joined the team it instantly felt like I belonged there.” 


Providing support for the aforementioned trio of receivers along the offensive line stood the stout pairing of Darian Savage and Kenyon Immeker. 


As the brother of BVU’s offensive-line Coach Darius Savage, Darian had close ties before choosing to play at Buena Vista. 


Quoting the last his last two years at Buena Vista as the most fun he’s ever had, especially when the Beavers came back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to defeat Concordia-Nebraska 27-24 this year.  


Savage was proud to be a part of the football family that extended from his brother, to his teammates as well. However, a mid-season injury cut Savage’s year short as he would have to hang up his cleats early midway through BV’s 27-13 loss to Coe. 


Both Savage and Immeker at their respective guard and tackle positions were mainstay pass blockers in an offense that threw for over 2,600 yards this season. As one to keep the outside pass rushers at bay on the line, Immeker wants to stay close to the game after college. 


“My plans for after college is to look for a strength and conditioning coaching position in either high school or a collegiate setting” says Immeker. 


On the other side of the ball causing chaos for their offensively-inclined teammates, Patrick Spicer, Joe Thede and Gary Weaver all will also be tough losses for the Beavers. 


In a somewhat similar story to Burris, Spicer also found his way to Buena Vista University after playing his first years of college football on a different team. 


From the aforementioned Concordia-Nebraska Bulldogs, to Butler Community College, Spicer made his home finally at BV. Unfortunately, two major surgeries later, one of which ended his Senior year only three games in, sidelined Spicer in his last season. 


Meanwhile, the defensive-line two Senior defensive-ends in Gary Weaver and Joe Thede have big plans after earning their degree at BV as well. 


As one of the top defensive-ends in all of Division 3 football, Weaver strongly considers his opportunities that lay ahead…one of which may be playing at a higher level. 


However, Weaver, alongside Travis, first has an upcoming Senior D3 bowl game to compete in before he hangs up his cleats for the last time. Weaver finished the year with a conference high 14.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and even two interceptions. 


Last but certainly not least, Joe Thede has big plans for after his early graduation as well. Technically a Junior, Thede is seeking a job as a patrol officer in Omaha as well after this coming May. 


On top of that, he has a run as a combat medic in the National Guard until 2021 to still complete. Always a team player, Thede’s promising career and work done at Buena Vista will turn out well for him in his near future. 


Safe to say, this senior class will be dearly missed by Coach Mollring and his staff. In the same vein, the seniors will dearly miss their time at Buena Vista University. 


When asked about their favorite memory playing for BVU, the variety of answers was not surprising to say the least, given the highlights the eight accumulated over their careers. 


Ross Adamson: “My favorite memory wouldn’t be any win or loss. Just the many lifelong friendships that I’ve made throughout my four years here at BV.” 


Jordan Travis: “My favorite memory would have to be either the Central game when we beat them in overtime, or the Concordia game when we came back and won.” 


Kenyon Immeker: “My favorite memory would have to be beating Central in overtime. Seeing and hearing the crowd go wild after scoring the 2-point conversion was the best feeling in the world.” 


Darian Savage: “Favorite memory…coming back to go ahead of Concordia and then watching them miss the field goal to tie the game. The whole team stormed the field.” 


Patrick Spicer: “My favorite memories were camp because of the opportunity to meet new people from different areas and becoming a better player off of their talents. Then tying the interception record against Loras in my first year.” 


Joe Thede: ‘Winning our Senior Night game against Luther by 20 and being able to play a good amount.” 


Gary Weaver: “Being away on road games was always my favorite because it’s fun to be around teammates overnight, especially having to build team bonding before a game.” 


Ivory Burris: “Honestly I really don’t have one distinct memory. I really enjoyed watching the incoming freshman embrace their role and grow as better football players and men.” 


Though they are prepared to go separate paths, the eight will be forever connected with an everlasting bond. Once a Beaver, always a Beaver.