Joe Kuhl ’19 (Elmhurst, Illinois) was one of the 33 high school football players honored during the annual Moose Krause Memorial Scholarship banquet in South Bend, Indiana, Wednesday evening. The scholarship recognition program is sponsored by the South Bend chapter of the National Football Foundation. Both the chapter and scholarship are named after the legendary University of Notre Dame athletic director.
The players from northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan were recognized for their academic, athletic, extracurricular, and community service work. The chapter also awards renewable college scholarships to four of the players.
A Batten Scholar, Kuhl is currently deciding on his college choices, which include the United States Military Academy and Purdue University. He is a Indiana Football Coaches Association Academic All-State Award recipient and a three-year starter on the Eagles’ offensive line. Kuhl has lettered in five sports during his athletic career: football, wrestling, rowing, track and field, and rugby. He was the 220-pound sectional champion and a semi-state qualifier in wrestling this past season.
Kuhl is also a member of the Model United Nations, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Jazz Band. He has also served as a peer tutor and Relay For Life and Alzheimer’s Walk volunteer. He also helped organize the Academies’ Tackling Childhood Cancer program.
Former Notre Dame quarterback Ron Powlus, who is now the associate athletics director – football operations, was the keynote speaker. He told the players to cherish their playing time and reflect on the lessons they learned from football. What he learned included:
- How to compete: No one is going to give you your spot. You have to earn it. When he first tried out for the quarterback position in high school, the coach asked what he was doing there.
- Dedication: The sacrifice and practice to get better physically and mentally. Nothing comes naturally. Powlus told the story of someone commenting to his father that he was a natural passer. His father replied that it helped that his son was also throwing 1,000 passes a week.
- Teamwork: Football requires that all 11 players work together every second of every play. Every player must come together to be successful. If the left tackle doesn’t make his block, the quarterback get sacked. If a linebacker decides to rush the quarterback instead of drop into coverage, it could result in a pass competion or touchdown.
- Perseverance: Setbacks will come. You must hang tough. For him, it was a season-ending knee injury his freshman year at Notre Dame.
- Decision-making: You learn that your decisions on- and off-the-field impact others, like your teammates. Making the wrong decision could jeopardize everything.
- Lay it on the line: There are times you shouldn’t hold back to achieve the ultimate success. You need to take those chances and be ready to live with the results.
- Being a leader: Don’t be careless with your leadership. You are an influencer. Be thoughtful of your decisions because of that influence.
This was the 46th year for the scholarship dinner. Culver began participating in 2014. Joe’s brother, Bill Kuhl ’18, was also a Moose Krause honoree.
Edward “Moose” Krause was the director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame from 1948 to 1981. During his tenure, the Irish won four national championships in football, produced three Heisman Trophy winners, and graduated 99 percent of its players. The local chapter changed its name in 1979 in his honor. Krause’s son, Phil Krause, presented the awards to the players.