My Best Friend’s Wedding

WC?native Maddie Schaa officiates wedding of good friend, NFL?player Micah Hyde

Webster City native Maddie Schaa (center) officiates the wedding of Amanda Kamiksisian (left) and Micah Hyde (right) during a July 7 ceremony in Dana Point, Calif. Schaa and Hyde, a former all-Big Ten defensive back at Iowa and now a starting safety for the Buffalo Bills, became friends back in 2009 at Iowa. Photo by David Manning

WEBSTER CITY — Spanish class, freshman year, University of Iowa, 2009: that’s where this story starts and it’s one that Maddie Schaa never would have envisioned when she departed Webster City as a teenager.

It was in that class, one she excelled at by the way, where she met someone that she knows she’ll call a dear friend for life. His name? Micah Hyde.

Yes, that Micah Hyde. The same one that became an all-Big Ten defensive back for the Iowa Hawkeyes before he was the fifth-round NFL draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2013.

Ah, now you’re interested.

“Spanish was not Micah’s strong suit and it was one of my strong suits, so he needed a little extra help in that class,” Schaa said. “He’s a great human and so we became friends and he’s been one of my really good friends ever since.”

Webster City native Maddie Schaa (center) poses with Amanda and Micah Hyde. Schaa performed the couple’s wedding ceremony on July 7 in Dana Point, Calif.

So much so that just recently, on July 7 to be exact, Schaa stood at the alter and officiated Hyde’s wedding to his now wife, Amanda, at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point, Calif. The couple asked Schaa if she would be the officiant when she visited them last winter and she answered immediately.

“Absolutely was my first reaction because what an experience,” she said. “I’d be honored to marry any of my friends and they’re a couple that is so fun and loving.”

But let’s back up for a minute.

Back in college, Schaa became Hyde’s go-to person when it came to academics. As he piled up interceptions and adulations on the football field, Schaa was behind the scenes helping to ensure that his classwork stayed on track.

“We did a lot of papers together,” she said. “I wouldn’t say I was his tutor, but I was an ally.”

Maddie Schaa (center), a 2009 graduate of Webster City High School, performs the wedding service of Amanda and Micah Hyde on July 7 in Dana Point, Calif. After a standout football career at Iowa, Micah Hyde was a fifth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2013. Photo by David Manning

Along the way, a beautiful friendship was born. They discovered they had quite a lot in common. Both grew up in small towns — Hyde was raised in Fostoria, Ohio, population 13,441 according to the 2010 census — and both were raised on athletics.

Schaa played everything when she was young and became one of Webster City’s top basketball and softball players during her prep days. Hyde lettered in basketball, baseball and football at Fostoria High School.

“Micah’s from a small town just like Webster City and that’s possibly part of the reason we relate so well to each other,” Schaa said. “If he was a big city kid, I don’t think we’d get along as well as we do.”

Schaa was right by his side when it was time to fill out his rookie paperwork for the NFL, too. And she was just a phone call away during the good and bad times during his four years with the Packers before he signed with the Buffalo Bills prior to the 2017 season.

It also helps, as Schaa explains it, that Hyde is a down to Earth individual who doesn’t crave the limelight or fame that goes along with the NFL shield. She says he prefers to stay in the background and he keeps his circle of friends tight.

“It’s hard because so many people look at Micah as this famous guy who has all this money (he signed a five-year, $30.5 million deal with the Bills in 2017), but I just look at him as this knucklehead who didn’t know how to write a bibliography as a sophomore in college,” Schaa said. “Being that I don’t treat him any differently and don’t look at him like that in the least is something I think he enjoys. Like, when we go meet him out at a restaurant when I visit for games, we always say ‘why don’t you just go over and tell them your name so we don’t have to wait in line’ and he always says no. He’ll never in a million years drop his name, that’s not who he is.”

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Hyde asked someone close to him to officiate his wedding. Yes, there were former Hawkeyes and current NFL players in attendance, but up at the front alongside him and his soon-to-be wife was a person he felt comfortable with.

“He said during the wedding that writing his vows was so hard because the two people who helped him write his papers were standing up there with him,” Schaa said. “It was the most comfortable thing in the world to stand up with them. But at the same time, it’s an event that I wouldn’t have been able to fathom.”

Schaa, who works for the Otis Elevator Company and resides in Dallas, Texas, got ordained online and was certified to perform the ceremony through the state of California.

“It was really casual and you felt like you were at a family gathering,” she said. “There were no cell phones allowed so people couldn’t take pictures and do stuff like that. But it was very personal because people had to talk to each other.”

Schaa was able to get in a joke or two as well.

“I said that I’ve been doing papers for Micah for the last nine years, so it’s only right for me to help him here, too,” she said. “And when he spoke he said, “I didn’t realize one of by best friends from college was going to roast me during my wedding.'”

As for what’s next, Schaa says she’ll continue to be a part of Hyde’s life. She’s already been to Buffalo and she enjoys hitting the road and traveling to Bills’ away games to see her favorite safety play.

“I don’t think I have a choice, I think I’m bound to them now,” she joked. “But it’s like I’ve gained another family.”

And it all started with a simple introduction in Spanish class.

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