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High School Students Join Forces for Veterans

Students from the Cerro Gordo-Bement High School football team in central Illinois play the sport jointly. They also join forces to give back to warriors through T-shirt sales. They receive inspiration from mentors like Coach Craig Witts, Navy Reserves since 2001, with four years of active duty, and Coach Todd Dalton, Army 1992-1996 and National Guard 1996-1998. Coach David Elder’s brother Derek is on active duty in the Army.   

“We want our students to know that other people have made sacrifices so that they can play,” said Chad Corum, assistant football coach. The message is well received.

“I know how lucky I am to be here and be able to play football,” said senior Braden Wright, who plays defensive end and wide receiver. “I’ve always been one of the smaller guys on the team, and I want people to do their best and persevere. When it comes to veterans, we are all appreciative, but we wanted to take action.”

Inspired by their coaches who are veterans themselves, this group of students is taking action for warriors. “We want to help veterans achieve their personal goals beyond their service to our country and have other people see the whole person,” Braden said. The team sent a check to WWP in honor of active and retired service members in the Illinois communities of Cerro Gordo, Bement, Ivesdale, Oakley, La Place, Milmine, and Casner. They also hosted Military Appreciation Night at one of the regular season games. 


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