The Best That Never Was: The Maysen Lupkes Story


On July 7th 1996, in Sioux Falls SD Vicki and Scott Lupkes welcomed there son Maysen Lee Lupkes into the world.They immediately took him to there home in Estherville, Iowa I learned how to walk before I turned one. Once that happened I only cared about one thing in the world. That thing was my little red football. My dad got it from somewhere, and it was literally the only thing I played with.  He would throw it up to me, and I would try my hardest to catch it. every time I’d miss he’d say”pick up the ball and try it again. You have to be the best at what you do.” So eventually I would get up and try it again.

When I was around the age of six or seven my brother and I had taking up racing go-karts. My brother was the best  in his class. He would fly up and down the track, and pass people left and right. He won every single race he was in. I thought I could do the same. My very first lap I never let off of the brakes. The pedal was to the metal the entire race. I ended up finishing 1st place.

Never once did I think that it was so easy to win. Every week we would go back, and then every week I’d leave with a victory. My father once said that you have to be the best at what you do.

I only raced for a year when I finally started peewee football. I knew that I was going to be extremely good at football. My very first practice wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I dreamed of scoring touchdowns, but they stuck my on the line instead. Once I figured out how to block I had so much fun. I thought I could play this sport forever. When it was our turn to be on defense I got really excited because I got to hit people. Just the feeling of me overpowering someone was the best feeling ever. 3rd-6th grade were some of the best times ever. We had the best teams out of anyone. One year we finished first, other years we’d finish 2nd or 3rd. It was always fun and exciting. In 6th grade I led the team in tackles. That was one of my proudest moments in peewee.

Once 7th and 8th grade football season rolled around our numbers started to grow. Which meant that I would have to work harder in practice. I would eventually lead the team in sacks both of those years. That is when I realized that I could be the next big thing.

When high school football started I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete with guys twice my size. So I just stuck to the freshman team. We barely had enough for a team. The team finished with two wins and I felt ashamed. I felt like we could have done better. My Sophomore year was a little bit better one. Coming into the season I felt like I could’ve been varsity material. I worked harder than everyone at everything. Or so I thought. They kept me on the Junior Varsity team where we finished with the same record the year before.  The bright side of this whole ordeal was that I led the team in sacks….oh and I was finally getting recognized by the varsity coaches! They told me that if I work hard in the off-season I could be starting for them in the fall.

Fall of my junior year was one to never forget. I worked very hard  all summer to finally….be the backup once again. I didn’t let get in the way of me becoming a starter. Once week 3 rolled around I finally got to be a starter, but that was the only game I started. Not sure why they moved me down to the backup once again. I wasn’t hurt or anything the just told me I needed to improve on some things. I didn’t know what they mean’t so I continued to practice hard and play harder. We only won 1 game that year and there wasn’t one good thing about that season. I wasn’t the sack leader, or leader in tackles. I wasn’t happy with myself.

My senior year we had a new head football coach. I figured what better way to impress him than by training hard. I never missed a single day of weight lifting or practice.  I was the only one to do so. I started on offense and defense my senior year. This was my proudest moment so far. Our first 3 games we went two and one. We all thought we would make the playoffs…but never count your chickens before they hatch. In our last six games we went zero and six. Man that was such a hard season. We had so many close games, but we were never able win those games. At our awards banquet I was the sacks leader, and I won the Most Improved Senior award. This was my greatest achievement so far. I knew my journey couldn’t end so I decided to play college football.

I had three different schools looking at me. Buena Vista University, Iowa Central Community College, and Wartburg. BV and Wartburg didn’t have what I wanted to do with my life so I chose to go to ICCC. I knew that I couldn’t play sports for the rest of my life so I figured why not start small and work my way up. Two-a-days were fun, but they were a grind. Every muscle I had was in pain. Once the season started I was third string out of 5 people total. Every person had a scholarship but me. I didn’t think it was fair so I went to the coaches and he said I’ll get my chance. Never once did I get my chance. Once the season was over I knew my career was done. As I reminisce on it, I feel like I shouldn’t of  quit playing football. I knew I could’ve something great. I could’ve been the best that ever was….instead I’m the best that never was.