Trying to instill the mantra of “Family” within a football program is not unique to Altus. Many football coaches across the country have attempted to promote the badge of “Brotherhood” to their teams. They know the value of developing a bond or a team chemistry between their players. Not all coaches have been successful in doing so. Even fewer have had the level of success that Altus coach Jeremy Reed has had with this group of kids adopting a unity within a pack of individuals.
We have some solid proof now that the Bulldogs’ claim of family and brotherhood is much more than just talk. Sure we see the brotherhood label across the backs of our Bulldogs’ jerseys, and we see the designated underclassmen tasked with holding up the board on the sidelines with “family” written on it. We also see the way our boys in blue leave the field at halftime arm-in-arm together as one unit.
Like I said, we now have proof that the new schemes and personnel brought to Altus by coach Reed is having a positive, real-world effect on the attitudes and lives of our youth.
Following the Altus Junior High 8th grade Dawgs’ football game on Tuesday, Trey Garcia gave us the proof we needed. Trey provided all of us evidence of what being a part of a family is.
Late in the fourth quarter of the Dawgs’ first loss of the season to Duncan, 22-14, Trey’s teammate was injured. Joseph “JoJo” Buxton, a safety with jersey #1, suffered an ankle injury.
If this was a varsity high school situation, Buxton would have been attended to by medical staff, trainers and managers.
However, there just isn’t very many personnel on the sidelines while on the road.
Once the coaches assessed Buxton with a hurt ankle that would need some ice applied after the game, Buxton was on the sidelines away from the action. The game ended just a few minutes later, and like the end of every game, both teams crossed at midfield for the “good-game” line.
Trey noticed his teammate, JoJo, alone on the sideline. His comrade was down, and like good-hearted family member would, Trey went back over to the Altus sideline to check on his fellow Dawg.
Although a majority of the players and fans made their way to the end of the field where the Dawgs would gather for the bus ride home, Trey’s attention was on his friend.
When JoJo expressed that he was unable to walk because of his ankle, Trey in full-pad uniform, bent down with helmet in hand and scooped JoJo up. He put one arm under Buxton’s knees and somehow got the other arm holding his own helmet around some thick shoulder pads to hold Buxton’s back. Trey then carried JoJo a good 30 yards until an AJH coach caught up to them and took over for Trey.
Trey didn’t turn to see if his proud parents, Kit and Perfecto Garcia, were filming him. He didn’t scan the crowd to see if he could get some credit for his good deed from anyone who might have been watching.
Trey just did it because that is what brothers do. He couldn’t leave his classmate, teammate, friend, brother and fellow Dawg behind.
The meaning of the “BROTHERHOOD” stamped on the backs of our Bulldogs’ jerseys is “No individual is more important than the collective.” It means to put others before yourself.
Don’t let teenage violence in the headlines give you the sense that this is how it is in Altus. Trey has shown us what the kids involved in the Altus athletic program are all about.
Thank you coach Reed for making these kids winners both on and off the field.
Well done, Trey Garcia. You are what “BROTHERHOOD” is all about.
GO BULLDOGS !!
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076