He knows all too well whatever success happens on the turf begins with discipline.
"Whether you liked the sport or not, you had to finish the season," Martin Rucker would say to his kids growing up. "Now you didn't have to go back out again if you didn't want to. But we weren't going to be quitters. So if you started, you had to finish."
A discipline instilled in Rucker's children who turned success on the field into a career.
But their training went far beyond the stadium.
"Education is the great equalizer," said Rucker, a candidate for the St. Joseph school board. "No matter what background you come from, if you can get an education you can compete."
As a former district representative and school board member, Rucker has compared the St. Joe School District with others in the state.
He says he is proud of his hometown and the work they've done. He wants to make sure future generations can feel the same.
"My main concern is that we create all the opportunities that we can, whether the bond passes or the bond doesn't, all the opportunities that we can for the young people in St. Joseph, Missouri to compete," said Rucker.
And it all starts with three fundamentals: reading, writing, and arithmetic.
"Three basic things we can never get away from," said Rucker. "And if a kid can do that, he can play sports, he can go to college, he can interact. It's just a social animal."
It's an animal Rucker wants to see unleashed in St. Joseph. Because with the right discipline, it can make St. Joseph proud.