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Kiel is a great player, better person.

December 27, 2011
Winners Choice Sports



It is really hard to put into words how much Gunner Kiel has meant to me.

No doubt he has given me tons of great highlights to put in a highlight reel, but that is one of the least reasons why it is hard to express my feelings for Gunner Kiel.

Tons of sports writers will spend the next 24 hours or so analyzing the decision Kiel made and determining if he made the right decision.

To save everyone time, if you were clicking on this article planning to read one of those type of articles, this particular article won’t fit that mold.

Instead, I am going to spend time talking about the great friendship I have with the Kiel family and show everyone a side of the Kiel family that they can’t read anywhere else.

            I loved being a student at Columbus East and a big reason for that is because East allowed me to pursue my dream of being a sports broadcaster. East could have easily shut down all the doors they opened for me but they didn’t.

            One of those doors that was open for me was complete access to the football program, which lead me to the Kiels

My first year covering the football team was my sophomore year, which was Gunner’s older brother Dusty’s senior season. That year was really nerve racking for myself because I was still a shy kid.

One of the first players to help break my shyness was Dusty. Anytime I was walking around school or after a game, Dusty would always be there to ask if I needed an interview, as most of the time I would be too nervous to ask.

That is the type of person Dusty was and I would later learn that Gunner was the same type of person.

I enjoyed covering the team during Dusty’s senior season, but I never really got to know the players on that team well. Not the players’ fault or anything, I just didn’t get as involved as I would in future years.

When my junior year came around, so did my sports television show, “The Luke Martin Show.” I remember the first show and what it took to put it on the air. I wasn’t fully finished editing my show till 5am that Friday morning of the East-North game on August 28th, 2009.

I only planned on doing one show because I didn’t know what the feedback for the show would be like.

One of the first people to compliment my show was Gunner Kiel. He came up to me before the East-North game in 2009 and said, “Luke, your show was amazing! You are going to make your dream come true someday.”

The simple conversation we shared that day made my self-confidence soar to heights I never believed it would reach. I had no idea someone would really take time out of his or her day to watch that show, especially Gunner Kiel.

I still continued “The Luke Martin Show” throughout my high school career, and continue it to this day at Ball State University on 91.3 WCRD.

No doubt Gunner was always supportive of me, but his parents were even more supportive.

Kip and Aleta Kiel are two people I have tremendous respect for. Both of them are passionate people and care so much about each individual they come across in their lives.

Neither of them sugarcoat anything. They are always straight and to the point, and they will always be there for someone when they need support.

I can remember multiple times when the Kiels would help me through so many tough situations. I would not have made it if it were not for a great support system, as the Kiels were a huge part of that system.

I also remember when I was named moderator of the year for My Indiana Football and won $3,000 for Columbus East Football for my coverage on the Olympians my senior year in 2010

Coach Gaddis wanted to honor me for winning the award before the start of the East-North girls basketball game on December 20th, 2010. After I was presented the award, I can remember Kip and Aleta being one of the first to congratulate me and tell me how proud they were of what I had accomplished.

I can continue to go on and on about how much I care about the Kiels, but there is a final knot to this story.

I would always talk to Gunner at school when I saw him and would always send him a text on the holidays wishing him the best, but that would usually be it.

I very rarely sent him a text or called him because I could only imagine the amount of texts and calls he receives daily, and I would be leery at times to approach him in the halls because I didn’t want to overwhelm him.

I always respected Gunner and loved him but that was until the other day when I received a text message from Gunner. My love and respect grew much stronger.

Like I said earlier, I very rarely texted Gunner so I knew this was not normal when he texted me yesterday.

When I read the text message he sent me, I began to cry.

I won’t reveal what all was said in that text message because of how much I value our relationship, but Kiel said, “Luke I wanted you to be one of the first to know that I committed to LSU. You were always there for me and always supported me. I can’t thank you enough man.”

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            I know Gunner will continue to do great things at the next level for LSU. I know Les Miles is getting a great football player and LSU nation will enjoy watching Gunner Kiel play.

            More importantly, LSU is getting a great person. There are very few kids that are as nice as Gunner Kiel.

            As I near the end of this article, I am wondering how to end it.

            Well, I don’t think there is any other way than this.

            I love you Gunner and I wish you the best at LSU and I will always be here for you and the rest of your family.

            Look out America,, Gunner Kiel is coming.

 

Luke Martin is a student at Ball State University majoring in Telecommunication. Luke graduated from Columbus East in May of 2011. To reach Luke for questions or comments about his stories, email him at lpmartin@bsu.edu


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