Wienke's Work Ethic Vital For Hawkeye Success

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — While the highlight of the University of Iowa football team’s season-opening victory over Northern Illinois at Soldier Field last Saturday was Damon Bullock’s 23-yard game-winning touchdown run, the game-changing highlight materialized eight plays earlier.

With five-and-a-half minutes remaining, senior John Wienke dropped a perfectly-placed punt inside the five that was downed by fellow senior Greg Castillo at the one yard line.

Wienke came to Iowa as a standout prep quarterback. It would be safe to say his first career punt worked out just fine.

“John’s done a good job,” said head coach Kirk Ferentz. “He’s just a great attitude guy, and he’s a good football player. He’s carved out a role to help the team.”

While playing for the Hawkeyes, Wienke has now lined up under center, as holder on PATs and field goals, and as punter. The fifth-year senior has been able to help the team in numerous facets due to his willingness to contribute and his work ethic, both of which he developed while growing up in Tuscola, Ill., a small farming community in central Illinois.

“It is a small town, 4,500 people,” said Wienke. “Our high school was based on a lot of hard-working farm kids. We relied a lot on the farm kids going through high school. Farming is definitely a big background area for me. Obviously, ANF has carried over for me and is important to me.”

With his background, Wienke appreciates the hard work required in farming. His own work ethic has helped him prepare for these different roles, and in turn, contribute all over the field for the Hawkeyes.

“Anything you are going to do, you have to put 100 percent into it or you are not going to get results from it,” said Wienke. “The biggest part is staying focused, having the desire to get better and wanting to help out this team as much as I can in any facet. Whatever the coaches ask, just continue to work hard.”

A strong work ethic led Wienke to Iowa City. It is also one of the things he admires most about the Iowa football program.

“A big thing here with our university is the community service, and the things that we do in the offseason,” said Wienke. “That has been a big selling point in our program, the hard work that we like to put in and show that we are actually hard workers and not just talk about it. Coming from a small area, the hard work is the important way to go with it.”

Given his background, Wienke is one Hawkeye who understands the America Needs Farmers campaign and who is especially proud of wearing the ANF decal on his helmet.

“It is a great thing,” he said. “The entire Midwest region itself is a solid farming community. It is very important and symbolizes how hard-working this part of the nation is, and America in general. It is good we give credit where credit is due and farmers have always had a good base for hard work. To give them credit is a great thing.”

The Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa Farm Bureau are proud to recognize the ANF logo as a testament to the Farm Strong families of Iowa.

Iowa’s farmers are the cornerstone of the state of Iowa, its way of life and a significant economic engine for the state and the Heartland, just as hard-working student-athletes like John Wienke are the cornerstone of the success of the Hawkeye football program.