About six weeks ago, I brought former Loyola High School football player Van Brooks in the studio to get an update on his progress and the good things he’s doing in our community.
Brooks, you’ll remember, was the young man who suffered a serious spinal injury in a Loyola football game in September of 2004 and was told by doctors he’d never walk again.
Rather than me tell you his story, just GO HERE and let Van tell you himself.
Today — weather permitting — my Calvert Hall Golf team takes on Van’s old school, Loyola, in a MIAA A-Conference match at Hunt Valley Golf Club (3:30 pm).
We’ll be wearing our gray slacks and red Calvert Hall golf shirt, per the team uniform.
This afternoon, though, we’ll also be sporting a little blue and yellow, the colors of Loyola Blakefield.
When Van was in studio back in February, he gave me sixteen of his blue and yellow “S.A.F.E. Alternative” wristbands and I promised him we’d wear them when we played Loyola in the golf season.
A Calvert Hall guy wearing something bearing the logo or team colors of Loyola? Never!!!
That changes today, though.
As anyone in Baltimore knows, there’s a long, long athletic rivalry between the Cardinals and Dons. No matter the sport, there’s always a little extra attention paid to a Calvert Hall-Loyola contest.
That rivalry, though, doesn’t mean we can’t be supportive of one another. Fight hard on the field, be friendly and respectful off the field. After all, in this place we affectionately call “Small-timore”, there’s a high likelihood these rivals from Calvert Hall and Loyola might someday be working with another in a local company or business venture. One of my dear friends, Shawn Shannon, is a proud Loyola grad — but he’s also been a supporter of mine since I assumed the CHC coaching duties in October of 2012.
Today, when Calvert Hall takes on Loyola, we’re going to do our best to support Van Brooks and his S.A.F.E. Foundation.
During the regular season, a local company featuring Calvert Hall grads Vic Biscoe, Dean Johnson and Kevin Henneman supports our golf program with a unique concept called “Building with Birdies”. Primary Residential Mortgage donates $25 per-birdie to CHC golf, and we, in turn, use that money for our annual spring trip. This past March — thanks in part to 67 birdies in 2013, the team went to Pinehurst, NC for four days of golf, friendship and fellowship.
Today against Loyola, we’ll try to make as many birdies as we can, but instead of putting the $25 per-birdie in our program’s coffers, we’re going to donate that money to Van’s Foundation. In fact, we’ll double whatever Primary Residential puts in via their $25 per-birdie pledge.
Two Sunday’s ago, the entire Calvert Hall team volunteered at the Hopewell Cancer Support 5k run at Goucher College from 5:30 am to 9:30 am. I explained to my fourteen players that community service and helping those who are trying to do good deeds in our city, county or state need to be rewarded with our own efforts to ensure they’re successful. That 5k race would have gone on WITHOUT Calvert Hall’s help, obviously, but the work put in by my golfers that morning truly DID make a difference for race organizers who are relying mainly on volunteers to help put the whole thing together.
That’s why we’re behind Van Brooks.
We’re always willing to help someone in our community who’s doing good work for us. And make no mistake about it, Van Brooks is doing good work.
We’ll be trying to beat Loyola today at Hunt Valley, but we’ll be helping a former Dons football player at the same time.
Sounds like a “win-win” to me.
If you’d like to support Van and his efforts, please visit his full S.A.F.E. web-site RIGHT HERE.