On a muggy Friday out at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, Bearcats past and present got a chance to reminisce, tell some stories and play a round of golf while lending significant financial support to the Northwest football program.
The occasion was the 19th Annual Shawna Zech Memorial Golf Classic, a fundraising event that brings together Northwest alums, former players and boosters from all over the region.
Close to 300 Northwest backers turned out this year, putting the tournament slightly beyond its normal capacity.
Half of the field teed off early in the morning and the other half sped away to their assigned first holes after 2 p.m.
Northwest's football coaches organized the tournament and were there from dusk until dawn making sure it ran smoothly.
"One thing about our tournament is we always want to put on the best show for the people," said Northwest Missouri State offensive coordinator Charlie Flohr. "We feel with the price we charge, the people are going to get their money's worth with all the different things we have. Our fans and our support are unbelievable. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't probably be as big of a tournament as we are right now."
Among those in attendance were two-time Super Bowl champion Dave Tollefson, former NFL offensive lineman Seth Wand and a collection of other Bearcat football greats like John Edmonds, Adam Horn, Mike Peterson and Mitch Herring.
The 1974 Northwest football team was honored at a social the night before and had several team members on hand.
One notable absence from the tournament was Northwest athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma who had to attend a funeral.
The tournament, which is Northwest's biggest fundraising event of the year, featured numerous hole prizes and a skins game. Items such as Royals tickets, Cardinals tickets, autographed memorabilia and all-access passes at Northwest Missouri State football games next year were auctioned off throughout the day.
Keeping with recent tradition, there was a tiki hut drink serving station set up on the course, an idea hatched by former Northwest coach Scott Bostwick before his passing in 2011.
All of the proceeds raised from the Tiki Hut will go towards the purchase of a Scott Bostwick Defensive Player of the Year Award plaque that will he housed in the Northwest locker room starting next year.
"Especially in the summer time, we try to put on the best event for all our supporters that come near and far for this golf tournament," said Flohr. "It's definitely worth our time to get everybody back and see everybody. On game days, it gets a little helter-skelter when they come back, but an event like is just really nice. It's our chance to kind of reward them and help them reunite with other Bearcats."
Page 2 of 2 - The tournament wrapped up around 8:30 p.m. and the winners of each hole prize and flight were announced shortly after in the upstairs area of the Mozingo clubhouse.
The team of Scott Dowden, Logan Pyeatt, Ryan Long and Jimmy Thompson won the championship flight with a score of 54. Doug Kline, Rusty Barge, Brock Nuckolls and Tristan Ray came in second in the with a 56. Current Bearcat football players Colby Bowles, Jordan Akers, Kyle Goodburn and R. Bowers took third with a 57.
The 'A' Flight winners were J. Van Baren, T. Pucket, J. Stiens and S. Stiens with a 62. Second was B. Lankas, D. Stiender, D. Reavis and D. Galagher.
Ryan Zech, S. Zech, B. Pope and C. Burns were the top 'B' flight team followed by the foursome of Chad Bostwick, A. Long, Eric Bostwick and Joel Osborn.
The tournament represents the last of four major June events hosted by the football program.
Their first three June weekends were occupied by team or individual camps on campus.
Now that all of it is behind them, the Bearcat coaches have some time to relax and unwind before the start of practice hits in August.
"We've been going hard for four straight weeks," said Flohr. "It was a great four weeks. We had a lot of kids on campus. Now, it's time to spend a little time with our families and do those things for a couple weeks. At the end of July, we'll be back in the office trying to get ready for our camp and Saginaw Valley that first game."
Northwest's season opener with Saginaw Valley State (Mich.) is Sept. 5 at Bearcat Stadium.