WASECA, Minn. - If you're looking to find where football builds character and community in young men then you've come to the right place in Waseca, Minnesota. And Ted Hammond has been here 40 years.
"He's patient, he's humble, he's tough when he needs to be,” says Brad Wendland, Waseca varsity head football coach.
Ted is the freshman head football coach, but that title, barely scratches the surface of his impact.
“He sends a message. Kids want to play for him,” says Wendland. “You know how you meet people in your life and this is what they're supposed to do? This is what Ted's supposed to do, he's supposed to coach."
Wendland brought the the 69-year old (Ted) out of retirement in 2006.
Not just to coach but to lead by example.
To inspire, to teach how to put others first, something Ted does well.
“All of a sudden I thought why me obviously,” says Ted.
In 2008, time stopped. Ted was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And it was serious.
"I was like making a deal with God, I had no grandchildren, I wanted to see grandchildren,” says Ted.
Doctors at Mayo did surgery but didn't get it all. After nine years of PSA tests, Ted just finished radiation treatment this spring. But no time to celebrate.
"Then you go down below you got yourself a pan, and need cooling rack everything right where needs to be," says Ted.
Not when there's Ted's turnovers and his famous krumkakes to make. Krum what you ask? Krumkakes are a Norweigan holiday cookie made in a special iron, and they're delicious.
Ted can't remember when he started baking goodies for his players and students as incentives for them do well on and off the field. But each one made and given out is special.
It's become a Waseca tradition. Turnover Tuesdays. And his players eat it up, literally. It’s a labor of love. And when you combine turnovers, Ted Hammond, and cancer....
"It's become a night in Waseca that's pretty special,” says Brad.
You can see why Waseca's Tackle Cancer effort is so successful. The Blue Jay community has raised almost 20 thousand dollars in five years for cancer research, led by Ted Hammond.
"I've always had a good attitude and I said I'm going to beat this and everybody says that but I'm here talking to you,” says Ted.
And thanks to research and treatment, he's now got three grandchildren he's awfully proud of.
A simple act of kindness has “turned over” the best in Waseca.