Stretch of Highway 56 in Greeley honors former Husker Foltz

Originally Published July 15, 2022 Courtesy of KSNB Hastings Written By Kasey Mintz

GREELEY, Neb. (KSNB) – A highway sign in Greeley, Nebraska now bears Sam Foltz’s name in memorium. The former Husker punter is honored, not for his ability to kick footballs, but for how he treated people.

“They all said that when Sam got done talking to you, it was like you were the most important person he had talked to that day,” Martin Callahan said. “We lost Sam Foltz on a highway in Wisconsin some six years ago. Hopefully, with this highway naming, we will keep Sam’s memory and purpose alive.”

According to the Foltz family, Sam was always ready to make new players feel at home.

“We’ve had a lot of stories of moms of football players that said, ‘My kid was scared to death, scared to death.’ And they might be being razzed by one of the other players,” Jill Foltz said. “Sometimes Sam would show up and just have the kid sit at the dinner table with him, or say, ‘It doesn’t matter. I didn’t have that many stars behind my name either.’”

Sam’s father said his son was even though he was a talented young man on the football field, something else made him stand out.

“The thing that made Sam special was the fact that he didn’t think he was special, and he lived that,” Gerald Foltz said. “It was written all over his face. You run into those people once in a while, but not very often in a lifetime. Quite amazing.”

The woman who did a lion’s share of work to get the stretch of highway dedicated to the late punter, says it’s meant to honor Sam in the future, just as much as it does now.

“My hope, my dream really, is that years from now, years into the future when a family is driving along the Sam Foltz Memorial Highway, a child in the car says, ‘Dad, who was Sam Foltz?’ I hope his father says, ‘He was a very great young man.’” Mary Ann Mcquillan said.

May we all learn to treat people as Sam Foltz did.

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