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Offutt Sailors play Stockmen starters

Photo Illustration by Dana P. Heard

Photo Illustration by Dana P. Heard

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Deshawn Petway and Petty Officer Ronnie Frost, gather to look at some training records July 28. Petway and Frost are members of the Omaha Stockmen semi-pro football team and work at the Navy Operational Support Center – Omaha, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff W. Gates/Released)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Deshawn Petway and Petty Officer Ronnie Frost, gather to look at some training records July 28. Petway and Frost are members of the Omaha Stockmen semi-pro football team and work at the Navy Operational Support Center – Omaha, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff W. Gates/Released)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Tyrone Ferguson, Naval Operations Support Center – Omaha administrative clerk, downloads some information at his desk July 28. Ferguson is a member of the Omaha Stockmen semi-pro football team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff W. Gates/Released)

U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class Tyrone Ferguson, Naval Operations Support Center – Omaha administrative clerk, downloads some information at his desk July 28. Ferguson is a member of the Omaha Stockmen semi-pro football team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeff W. Gates/Released)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- There is a new semi-professional football team in town, the Omaha Stockmen, and Team Offutt is supplying three of their star players, all Sailors from the Naval Operational Support Center - Omaha.

As part of the Midwest Football Alliance, the first-year team, features Tyrone Ferguson, a running back and U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class, Deshawn Petway, who plays on both sides of the ball and is a U.S. Navy Petty Officer Third Class, and Ronnie Frost, a defensive back and U.S. Navy Petty Officer Second Class.

All three have been heavily involved in sports from a young age. Ferguson, NOSC administrative clerk, played football and baseball in high school and ran track and field in college. The same goes for Petway.

"I have played football since I was six years old," said Petway, NOSC training clerk. "I only missed one season in 2009 when I went to basic military training."

However, the third teammate is a little more unique. Frost, NOSC reserve pay supervisor and manpower clerk, has been involved in basketball, soccer, softball, track and field, golf and wrestling, but never organized football, until this year.

"He has not played a single down of organized football before and leads the entire league with four defensive touchdowns, two of them being interceptions for touchdowns and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns," Ferguson said. "He also leads the team in interceptions, sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and is second on the team in total tackles with 33." 

But, he isn't the only one with impressive numbers.

Ferguson is the third leading rusher on the team with 30 carries for 95 yards and one touchdown. Petway has 18 carries for 27 yards and on the defensive side of the ball, ten tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Going into the season, they all had their own set of goals.  For Frost, it was about learning the game.

"I came into the game not knowing all the football lingo and my teammates were there to coach me along the way, turning me into a fantastic safety," he said. "Playing with my Sailors gave me more confidence."

Frost was named the defensive most valuable player and first team ALL-MFA. He also made the MFA All-Star team.
Petway said he went in wanting to tune his skills and become faster, so he could try-out for the Arena Football League. But, it became more than that.

"It put me in situations that took me out of my comfort zone," Petway said. "I am not the first to put myself out there, but when I'm playing football I can't have someone tell me where to run with the ball.  I just have to trust in my training and deliver when the time calls for it."

For Ferguson, his goals came in numeric form. He wanted to achieve 50 carries, 250 yards, and five touchdowns on the season.

"I also wanted to be named a captain on the team," Ferguson said. "But, simply playing football again was my favorite part. We were able to turn around a 1-3 team and make a run to the playoffs."

Off the field, the Sailors also felt the effects at work.

"Playing for a team or being a sailor teaches life lesson," Frost said. "Trusting each other to accomplish a common goal is a big deal with both. You have to be 100 percent dedicated.  Sometimes it can take a toll when trying to juggle military, family and football, but in the end it all pays off and unbreakable bond is created."

Petway echoed his sentiment.

"Trust is a big factor," he said. "You have to trust that the people you play with will do their job, just like in the military. You can't worry about if they know how to do their job, you have to do yours and hope that your teammates do theirs, so the mission is complete or you could all fail."

But, ultimately they felt the most pride in their community outreach.

"The team really respects our service to our country and it's something we do not take lightly," Ferguson said. "We were able to create a presence in Omaha and in Bellevue. A lot of our teammates are from the local area, so it was nice to feel like we are a part of the local community even though we didn't grow up here."

All of three of them are looking forward to playing again next year.

"I am already waiting," said Frost.