MARSHALL, Ill. (WTHI) – On any given Friday night, this field in Marshall, Illinois is the home to the school’s high school football team. Local stars fighting for glory under the lights.
But on Wednesday night, some players of a different caliber took the field. Fifth and sixth graders playing in Youth Football. It’s a way to get the budding athletes ready for the sport, as well as life.
West Vigo Youth Football head coach Brian Chesshir explains “They get a lot of teamwork, fundamentals. We try to progress them for when they’re in high school. Overall just team unity and work ethic and mentorship as well.”
Those life lessons help these young athletes learn how to look at the bigger picture. A picture that becomes visible the closer you look at any helmet.
“It was an amazing opportunity to put on basically a fundraiser to show support for Taylor,” Chesshir says.
Taylor Mason, a student at Marshall High School, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.
Taylor’s father, Josh Mason, explains “She’s been at Riley since August 26th was when she was diagnosed. So basically three weeks all this has happened.”
In those three weeks Taylor has begun chemotherapy to help fight the disease. It’s for that reason that these players played Wednesday night.
“I can’t tell you the comfort it’s given us knowing that the community is backing us up. It’s just unreal. Words can’t express they really can’t,” Mason said.
From the orange shirts in the stands to the orange “TM” on the helmets, these teams and this community showing it cares.
Chesshir explains “The kids have been absolutely thrilled. They’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks.”
These players may not match a high school student’s size, but they sure make up for it in heart.