Willard Reaves’ humble beginnings

Ed Odeven Reporting

Before St. Louis Blues winger Ryan Reaves’ career as a pro hockey player was launched, his father, Willard, made his mark in the CFL and played in the NFL, too. He then became a sergeant in the Manitoba Sheriff Services.

Here’s a look at the elder Reaves’ life a decade ago, 15 years after he played in his final NFL game.

This column appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun on Oct. 1, 2004.

Headline: Reaves doesn’t shy away from limelight

By Ed Odeven

As a pro running back, Willard Reaves was never shy about praising the valuable but oft-neglected efforts of his team’s offensive linemen. As a public figure, the Flagstaff native and former NAU back, is quick to mention the impact Jesse Rodriguez has had on his life.

More than 30 years ago, Reaves, was a ninth-grade student at East Flagstaff Junior High School and took a public speaking…

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