Go Big Blue -- It Started with Boys Who Loved Football

JayeByrd By JayeByrd, 4th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Mind, Body & Spirit

"Go Big Blue -- The Story of the 1974 Boonville Pirates" is more than the story of a high school football team winning a state championship. It is the story of the mentors, the community, and the perseverance of a bunch of boys who loved football. The author is now an international motivational speaker.

Tom Krause Loves Football

Mr. Krause begins the book with his poem “Ode to the Champions” which sums up his thoughts and feelings, indeed the thoughts and feelings of the people of Boonville, Missouri, when their Pirates won the 1974 State Championship.

Being part of a championship team where Honor—defined as having the qualities of honesty, integrity, fairness, and respect—is as much a part of the game as knowing the playbook from cover to cover, gives young men a code, an inner resource, to follow as they grow to manhood. It is seldom an author is able to delve into such a life-directing experience. Many of the boys from the team went on to be school teachers, coaches, principals, one became an NFL official, and the author, just retired from 31 years of coaching, is an international motivational speaker and author.

While he talks of his memories of growing up in Boonville, and the people who influenced him most, the book is about the Boonville High School football team and their climb to the pinnacle of the State Football Championship in 1974. That team lived it. Fought for it. Won it.

How It Started

Boonville had been more a “basketball” town until one particularly dedicated group of young men caught “football fever” and changed that—probably forever. Once they found football, they played it. They played pick up games everywhere, even in the snow on the third tee of the old golf course, bundled up against the cold in heavy winter coats.

The team played Columbia’s Oakland Junior High during the ninth grade. Trailing, they drove for a touchdown. They won that game which is probably when the team’s competitive spirit went from flame to inferno. That is when they really started to love the game of football.

A new coach, Gene Reagan, pushed the team to be their best. Team spirit exploded on the community. They placed posters with pictures of the team in store windows downtown. They were on their way

A Promise to Themselves

Through the first years of high school, while the team fought hard, they improved but could not get it all together, leaving the team frustrated. Toward the end of their junior year, the guys started talking in math class. They knew who would be back on the team and knew they should be good. When Tom got home that day, he went to a printer and had 500 cards printed. Cards reading, “BOONVILLE PIRATES, 1974 STATE CHAMPIONS.” The cards were a promise to themselves.

Mr. Krause takes you with the team through the rigorous practices and hard fought victories on to the championship game played in Rolla, Missouri. That game was played on a field covered with snow. Hands, cold and wet, had trouble holding on to a football, but they couldn’t remove gloves which were next to frozen.

You cheer along with the fans, as the team digs deep into their dream for the power to pull out a win.


Three men were primary in influencing and inspiring the author.

Harlan Krause, Tom’s father, was always a strong influence. He managed Little League teams, took his son fishing, took him to basketball games, took him to church. Please note, he did not send him to church, he took him to church.

Dr. Giles McCoy, chiropractor, was a survivor of the Indianapolis during World War II. Doc wouldn’t allow whining. His idea was to pick yourself up and get on with life.

Gene Reagan, head football coach at Boonville High School, was a tough coach, and everyone said, “Yes, sir,” or “No, sir,” but he was fair and his teams were his boys. He wanted the best for them.

As mentors, they did a great job. They instilled a code in Tom and his friends that led them to be outstanding men.

More About the Author

Targeted for young readers, grades 5 - 8, people of all ages will enjoy reading about the boys growing up in Boonville during the 1960's & 1970's and sharing the heritage of the 1974 team. The perfect book to inspire future generations.

Tom has other books available. Two of them are “Teen’s Guide to Not Being Perfect” and “The Little Boy’s Smile.” He has had at least twenty poems and essays published in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books.

For more information about Tom Krause, his books, and his motivational speaking, please go to his web site at http://www.coachkrause.com.

Previously published in The Boonville Daily News, June 2010. Mr. Krause was Keynote speaker at the Alumni Association meeting the end of June 2010.


Football, Integrity, Mentors, Persistance, Staying Positive, Staying Strong, Winners Attitude

Meet the author

author avatar JayeByrd
I'm well into my fourth career. I write Opinion pieces, usually political. I write eclectic poetry, short stories, and essays. I also edit and teach writing.

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author avatar blogperfect
5th Aug 2014 (#)

nice information

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author avatar JayeByrd
5th Aug 2014 (#)

He was a great kid, and he grew to be a fine young man and a very caring middle-aged man. I feel honored knowing him.

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author avatar A.M>CrewsAnita Crews
5th Aug 2014 (#)

Great recount of years ago in a town we were so lucky to grow up in.l

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