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Madison's Gee to clear paths for Spartans in college football
, Courier Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:00 AM
Madison’s David Gee in
action with the Cubs. The 5-foot-9, 230-pound offensive guard has committed to play football for Manchester University. (Courier file photo by David Campbell)
While toiling as an offensive lineman, Madison's David Gee has never been the most recognizable face on the football field. However, without guys like Gee the Cubs' record books wouldn't look the way they do today.
After clearing a path for two of the best running backs in school history, Gee has now set his own course to play football for Manchester University in the fall. The soon-to-be college freshman will join former Cub teammate Zakkary Kinnaman with the Spartans, giving Manchester a pair of former Madison blockers on the offensive line to start clearing paths for Manchester ball carriers in the NCAA Division III Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
"I had it narrowed down between Manchester, Trine and Wilmington and all three schools were really close until I visited Manchester," Gee said recently. "The coaches really made me feel at home and did a great job of selling the school and the team. I took a visit shortly after to Wilmington but that only confirmed my choice to go to Manchester."
Even though wins were hard to come by during his four years at Madison, Gee was able to make the Cubs' running game a force to be reckoned with, providing blocking for Ryan Fish and Mitchell Sandlin in the backfield. Fish and Sandlin both ran for 1,000-plus yards in single seasons and are both mainstays in the program's record books.
"It was an honor to have the chance to block for both Fish and Sandlin," Gee said. "Both are 1,000-yard rushers and hold records. I know my name never made it into the record books but I can look back, see their names and know that I helped in allowing those guys to do what they did."
A team captain this past season, Gee was also recipient of the 2013 Jon Menke Mental Attitude Award. It's that same mental toughness that his high school head coach Patric Morrison thinks will carry Gee successfully at the next level.
"David is a hard worker and dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make the team better," Morrison said. "We will definitely miss him this year on the offensive line. He is a player we wish we could have around the program for another year.
"I am very happy that he has decided to go on and play college football. I think he will do just fine up at Manchester University because has the drive to be a better student-athlete."
Gee has the chance to quickly learn from a veteran Manchester group in 2014. The Spartans dropped their first four games last season but went 3-3 the rest of the way to finish 3-7 overall and 3-5 in the HCAC. The team lost just two seniors and expects to be much improved next year.
"Coach (Shannon) Griffith has already given me a workout book," Gee said. "The big key for me is to lift a lot and gain some weight. I have the chance to learn from a great group of juniors and seniors and hopefully get my chance to start as my career progresses. Coach Morrison said to just do my best, go in with a great work ethic and have a great attitude."
Away from the gridiron Gee plans to major in sports management and minor in coaching.
"The ultimate goal is to be a coach, preferably at the college level," Gee said of his academic and career goals. "I was born a Purdue fan so going to coach there would be a dream come true. If for some reason that doesn't work out I'd like to have some type of front office sports job or be an athletic director ... something where I can be in charge of one or more sports."
Gee leaves behind a Madison program that hopes to continue its rise to the upper ranks of high school football in southern Indiana, something he feels can happen with the same attitude he brought to the Cubs during his career.
"Don't quit," Gee simply noted. "Come in with a strong work ethic and never give up."
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