CEDAR FALLS — Adam Reth has had his share of football adversity. So after last Saturday’s devastating 38-29 loss to Western Illinois, the senior defensive lineman knew how to deal with the sting and still have a productive week of practice. He knew the sting was going to linger, but he also knew seventh-ranked South Dakota State was up next.
“That was a heartbreaker,” Reth said. “It did take us a little to get over it. When you’re up like that you pretty much think you have the game won at that point, but when a team comes back and beats you it sticks with you for awhile. We were a little worn down for awhile, but we’re looking forward to the next game, we’re getting pumped up for South Dakota State. There’s a lot of season left and the best teams are yet to come so we can still control our fate moving forward.”
Besides the ups and downs of his senior season, Reth has dealt with other forms of football adversity. The Manchester native was suspended by the NCAA last season for taking a banned substance.
Take a look at that supplement industry that most every college athlete is making use of and uncover a minefield.
Reth owns his mistake of not being thorough and taking any and all supplements to the team trainer. He knows he’s likely to become a cautionary tale at UNI, so he’s embraced the role and wants younger athletes to understand how easy it can be to take a supplement with a banned ingredient.
“The supplement industry is not regulated at all by the FDA, so you’ve got to be 100-percent sure what’s in that bottle,” Reth said. “What’s on the label might not even be what’s in it, so it’s real easy to get confused. The NCAA has a list of what you’re not supposed to take, but on that list it says ‘this is not a complete list,’ it’s just like a guideline. So there’s other substances that could fall into that. You’ve got to be extremely careful and run everything by the trainer. You’ve got to use extreme caution. That’s what I would tell anyone coming up through the ranks.”
As far as Reth and his teammates’ fate, that’s tied to their ability to win four of their last six games.
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Four of those games — specifically their next four — come against conference opponents that are all currently ranked inside the top eight of the coaches poll. However, that gauntlet of a schedule doesn’t intimidate Reth. As a fifth-year senior, he’s as familiar as they come with the grind of a Missouri Valley schedule.
“We feel like we can compete with anyone,” Reth said. “That’s why we know the next few games will be close, but close won’t cut it. We’ve got to put together a full game and I don’t think we’ve quite done that yet. We’ve either had the offense be really good or the defense be really good, but we haven’t had both yet. I think once we put that together, we’ll be able to play with anyone. It’s just getting all the little things cleaned up and everyone playing together as a unit.”