UF football team rallies behind teammate
By Lauren Wolters
University of Findlay head football coach Kory Allen is starting his first year as head coach and he’s on a special mission.
“[His] name and number on the helmet were a no brainer for us as a staff,” Coach Allen said. “Our team motto is ‘1Team,’ and we wanted our whole team to rally around Reggie as he fights this. We thought the helmet would be a good public display of our solidarity.”
Last year the University of Findlay’s football team fought hard for its first GMAC conference title since joining Division II of the NCAA. This fight continued into the off-season when one of their players, senior, defensive lineman, Reggie Micheaux was diagnosed with leukemia.
One player’s fight quickly turned into the whole team’s battle as the Oilers rallied behind their teammate. The Oilers usually have the phrase ‘1Team’ painted on their helmets. However, this year staffing decided to change the motto to ‘4Reg,’ 4 also being Micheaux jersey number.
Kijana Caldwell, senior wide receiver and one of Micheaux’s close friends, expressed his appreciation for the creativity and support the helmets showcase.
“I love the idea of the ‘4Reg’ helmet,” Caldwell said. “It shows that we play for something bigger, and there’s a meaning every time we take the field.”
Caldwell has known Reggie for about five years. Besides supporting Micheaux through the helmets, Caldwell explained that the team visited Reggie in the hospital, played games with him, and have been there for him since he was released.
Micheaux played in the season opener against Ohio Dominican University though he is still undergoing some treatments.
Allen has known Reggie since 2018. This will be his 17th season on the Oilers football team staff and his first season serving as the head coach. He added that the UF’s sports information department shot an interview with Micheaux following his diagnosis.
“Reggie wanted to tell his story,” Allen said. “His hope is that if someone out there is struggling with the same thing, they could find hope and inspiration.”
Last year Reggie played in 11 games and had 21 tackles. In the spring of 2021, Reggie was named G-MAC Defensive Player of the Week, and he received second team All-conference honors.
“Reggie is a great teammate,” Allen said. “His energy is contagious. He brings the best out of everyone around him.”
Besides being an excellent teammate, Caldwell explained how Micheaux is an excellent friend and one of the funniest people he’s ever met.
“Reggie is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever met,” Caldwell said. “He’s overall, just a joy to be around. Being one of his closest friends means a lot, and I wouldn’t change it.”
The story of how Caldwell and Micheaux met one another provides an example of their shared sense of humor.
“Reggie and I became friends because of his humor and upbeat attitude,” Caldwell said. “He introduced himself to me with a random name, and I had to find out on my own that it wasn’t his real name.”
Along with a shared sense of humor, Micheaux and Caldwell also have similar hobbies like playing golf and frisbee golf. Some of Caldwell’s favorite memories with Micheaux include their spring break trips to Gatlinburg and a summer trip to Caldwell’s house in Chicago.
Caldwell and Allen are just two of the many people who have supported Micheaux in his fight against leukemia.