Heroes on Helmets

I would like to tell you about how my journey with Andy began. It was a normal day in school, when suddenly the coaches called all the football players down to the gym. The meeting was about a program called “Heros on Helmets”. Each member on our team was given an American Flag with the name of a Fallen Hero on it. One by one they asked us to take upon the fallen soldier as we placed the flag on the back of our helmets.

Personally I was very excited for this amazing opportunity to play for a fallen soldier that put his life on the line for my freedom. As I looked upon my helmet and saw the name Andrew T. Weathers, I promised myself that I would put my all on the field every single practice and game. When I returned home that night I looked up everything I could find about my fallen hero. The more I read about Andy the more I felt that I had a huge roll to fill. Andy’s brotherhood that he had with his team made me really open my eyes, making me motivated to be a leader just like he was.

The team captains were chosen and I was so happy when I was elected as one. It made me feel like I was following Andy as I felt him with me as I lead my teammates. Every time I stepped onto the field I had a rush of emotions come over me when I looked at the flag and heard the National Anthem played, I felt invincible and I knew that Andy was standing right next to me.

The opportunity to let Andy live through me playing was an honor. Every game I was blessed to score. By the end of the season I was keyed by every team we played due to the games before in which I had played better than I ever have in my life. I do not say these things to boast, it is because Andy was with me.

Senior night was one of my best games which lead my team to the first District Championship in Bear Lake Football history. As we went on to state we won our first game which was the farthest any team had gone. Advancing on we played another game where we were not favored to even come close to winning but we shocked everyone with an upset.

Going on to the finals we were going to face a team that was so much bigger than we were. Those boys were gigantic! We started off really bad, letting them jump ahead 12-0 in the first quarter. I had a huge burst of energy and ran down the field powering over our opponents, refusing to go down but finally getting tacked by 3 of the opposing players putting us on the 3 yard line. As I stood up from that run I bent over in pain. As I came off the field I never thought that I would be able to go back onto the field, thus ending my football season. I suffered an AC joint tear in my shoulder. The thought of having to sit out the last 3 quarters of my hight school career killed me. But every time I looked down on my arm, I saw the name, Andrew T. Weathers. It made me think… Andrew never gave up, He fought through pain and gave life everything he had. The coaches allowed me back into the game. I pushed the pain aside and looked to Andy to help me push through this trial. In the end we lost that game by 6 points but I had no doubt that I left everything on the field that night for Andy. I am positive that I could not have played as well as I did this season if it hadn’t of been for the help of Andy. I was awarded First team running back of the year as well as being invited to go play on the Idaho All State Football team. I am looking forward to having Andy with me through the rest of my senior year as I continue on through Basketball and Baseball. I am nothing but grateful for being able to represent Andy. It has been a great honor. This has truly been a life changing experience for me.

My favorite quote from this year is: “It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s how may times you choose to get back up!” -- Vince Lombardi