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Common ground: Mayoral candidates excelled as young football players

Brian Fagan was a wide receiver and defensive back as a senior on the Regis High School football team when he achieved first-team all-conference and first-team all-metro accolades. All three candidates running for Mayor in this year's general election earned accolades while playing high school or college football.
Brian Fagan was a wide receiver and defensive back as a senior on the Regis High School football team when he achieved first-team all-conference and first-team all-metro accolades. All three candidates running for Mayor in this year's general election earned accolades while playing high school or college football.
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For most successful football players, stardom is fleeting. And then what?

How about a run for mayor?

All three Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates — Brian Fagan, Ron Corbett and P.T. Larson — achieved note as young football players.

They say they still carry lessons learned playing football, like being part of a team.

In 1989, Fagan was a senior wide receiver and defensive back on the Regis High School team when he achieved first-team all-conference and first-team All-Metro accolades. The team was undefeated until the state semifinals.

Fagan notes that he had little playing time a year earlier, when current NFL star Kurt Warner was a senior quarterback at Regis.

“I had a great experience with football,” Fagan says. “I liked the understanding of what we could do as a team together, and trusting that other people were doing their job with the same trust they had that you were doing your job.”

Corbett was a fullback for the Newton High School team that lost in the 1977 state finals.

“I’m older than Brian, but we did play with helmets back then,” he says.

At Cornell College in Mount Vernon, he became the college’s first running back to run for 1,000 yards in a season. He did it twice. He was named a Division III All-American in 1982.

“You learn at an early age that you’ve got to work with people, celebrating victories and analyzing the losses together,” he says, “and you hear about that intangible called chemistry.”

Larson was a defensive nose guard for the 8-1 Fort Dodge Dodgers in 1974 when he was named a third-team all-state defensive lineman. He says he outplayed offenses by “outsmarting” them.

“It was my commitment to the mental aspect of the game,” he says. “It’s a thinking man’s game, and if you’re not in the game to think …”

Football taught him “that drive and desire for excellence and never quitting, and giving it my best in all situations.” 

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