XENIA — Edna Adams couldn’t stop smiling.
The mother of the late Doug Adams was escorted into an Elmcroft Assisted Living Center reception room where she was met by XCS Superintendent Denny Morrison, Buccaneers varsity football coach Trace Smitherman, Athletic Director Nathan Kopp, Pete and Brian Steffan of the Doug Adams Trust and XHS football players Jonny Shampton, Kyle Lawson, Peyton Bartley, Jelani Tucker and Christian Severt for a surprise presentation.
“We put this together as a way to thank you once again for everything you’ve done. With the money you’ve been able to contribute, this year we’ve got new football uniforms from the trust. So what we did was, we put together a jersey with Doug’s No. 51 number on it and wanted to present it to you as a way of saying thanks to you for all you’ve done for the kids at Xenia. We really appreciate it,” Kopp said in a short presentation.
Coach Smitherman and the five players presented Adams with a framed Xenia High School football jersey with the No. 51, the number her son wore during his days as a Buccaneer. Asked where she would like to display the jersey, Adams asked that it be hung in the Doug Adams Training Center, which is located on the XHS campus.
“This is all such a surprise. I’m so glad to see them all,” Adams said, moments after the presentation.
She was particularly taken aback by Bucs quarterback Christian Severt’s hair. “Oh, my! Woah!” Adams exclaimed as Severt shook her hand and offered his thanks.
The five players, coach Smitherman, Kopp, and Morrison each thanked Adams personally for her family’s generosity to the school.
“This is by no means enough of a way to express our gratitude for what your family has done for our school, but we wanted to show our appreciation by coming to see you and presenting you with our newest jersey,” Morrison told her.
According to trustee Pete Steffan, the Doug Adams Trust Fund has provided an estimated $1 Million in funding since its creation in 2010. The fund was instrumental in refurbishing the high school football stadium — now aptly named Doug Adams Stadium — and was also a major source of assistance for the all-weather football field turf and the recently added track & field facility.
Two elliptical machines and a rowing machine were added to the school’s weight room this year, with Adams Trust funding.
Athletic Director Nathan Kopp estimates the fund has provided an average of $50,000 in support to the XHS athletic department each year.
Doug Adams, for whom the trust is named, was a former Xenia High School, Ohio State University and Cincinnati Bengals standout, He played on OSU’s national championship team in 1967 under legendary coach Woody Hayes. While still a member of the Bengals, Adams was hit and killed by a car while bike riding.
The players wore blue football jerseys, which the Adams Trust had purchased last year. The white jerseys, like that framed for Ms. Adams, will be new for the team this season and were part of the initial uniform purchase with Adams Trust funding.
“Mrs. Adams has always said to me ‘Whatever you feel we can do for the school, then do it.’ I don’t think I’ve ever denied a coach, or a previous coach any money, because I want the workout center at Doug Adams Stadium to be the best that it possibly can be,” Steffens said. “… We’re not going to win every game. You want to, but you can’t. But at least we’re gonna look as good or better. And we’re going to be in as good physical shape, or better. And so we’ll go mano y mano with anyone.”
Smitherman then lightheartedly explained to the players that Steffans was speaking Spanish.
Xenia’s first high school football game of the 2017 fall season is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26 at Beavercreek’s Frank Zink Field.
You can contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.