Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Not Just a Young Man's Game for Griffard, 37

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

College Football Not Just a Young Man's Game for Griffard, 37

Article excerpt

It's not as if John Griffard didn't have enough to tackle already.

Three years ago Griffard and his wife, Rose, bought the family business her parents had operated since 1963 in Quincy, Ill. The Lakeview Restaurant is a popular spot for casual dining and conversation.

Aside from being a businessman, Griffard, 37, is a father to Dan 18; Brooke, 17; Lindsay, 14 and Logan 5. Griffard, too, is a student. This fall, he is taking 12 hours - by college standards, a full class load - at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. That's a 25-minute ride each direction from Quincy. He's taking mostly business courses. He previously started and sold a very successful business, Griffo Products. Oh, he's carrying a course in abnormal psychology too. The psych course was his wife's idea - Griffard enrolled in college so he could go out for the Culver-Stockton football team! We're not talking a rec league of thirtysomethings. Griffard plays on special teams and at linebacker for Culver-Stockton, which takes on Quincy University Saturday in Quincy. "Why am I doing it? That's what my wife keeps asking me," Griffard said, laughing. It wasn't a bolt out of a blue plate special that inspired Griffard to do this. He married young, passing on a dream of college and playing football to start a family. But he never completely sacked the dream. It went from Walter Mitty to reality a year or so ago. A bartender in his restaurant, Chris Ziegler, is a former Culver-Stockton player. He asked Ziegler to help him get in shape. Said Griffard, who dropped about 20 pounds: "I think everybody gets to that point in life where they need to rejuvenate. I look at this as a sabbatical from regular life. I wanted to experience something different." Different? Here's different: When Wildcats' special teams coach Scott Graf (from Vianney High) told head coach Al Tamberelli that Griffard was interested in playing for Culver-Stockton, Tamberelli thought Graf meant 18-year-old Dan. Tamberelli already was trying to recruit Dan, who was an all-state running back in high school. (Dan is in college but no longer plays.) Still, Tamberelli wasn't as stunned by John Griffard's proposition as you'd might expect. …

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