Landon Williams was near tears, Andrew Grout was happy to make a difference and Dan Brite will continue to be a faithful fan of the Castle View football team. Williams, Grout and a group of 11 …
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Landon Williams was near tears, Andrew Grout was happy to make a difference and Dan Brite will continue to be a faithful fan of the Castle View football team.
Williams, Grout and a group of 11 football players got together on a hot July 31 to landscape the new, wheelchair-accessible home of Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Brite, who was critically injured in a September 2016 shooting in Parker.
The players spent eight hours working on the yard, and Brite’s smile of thanks was noticed by Williams, a 6-foot, 230-pound senior defensive end/tight end.
“It was 95 degrees that day,” said Williams. “And it was hard work moving those rocks and getting everything planted. When the officer came around the corner he had a big smile on his face. It was like, wow, there’s a reason I am here, to make people happy. Just seeing the smile on his face made me almost tear up. It was awesome.”
Grout, with help from Bret Hribar of the Castle View Gridiron Club, organized the landscaping, and it didn’t take him long to convince other players to help.
“When you say at the beginning, hey, do you want to come out and help with yard work, they said it is our day off and we don’t want to do that,” explained the 6-foot-4, 285-pound senior tackle. “But once you kind of give them knowledge that this is a cop and this is why we are doing it, then kids were a lot more on board to do it.”
Brite was in attendance at the Aug. 10 Back the Cats night, which featured former Denver Bronco Karl Mecklenburg as the guest speaker. Brite was made an honorary Castle View captain for the upcoming season.
“He (Brite) came to our Back The Cats night and has been a supporter of Castle View football,” said Grout. “So when you get the opportunity to landscape, give back to somebody in the community and especially to law enforcement, it’s a big deal for me.
“When we started there were piles of rocks and piles of mulch. By the time we were done, we had done the outlining and filled in the rocks. It was good to walk around the house and see all the work we had done. I think I’ll look back on this and just think it was something that took one day and made a difference.”
Sabercats players plan to return this fall when the weather is cooler to plant trees and bushes, but money is needed to purchase the materials. Donations can be made to the Castle View Gridiron Club, P.O. Box 1941, Castle Rock, CO 80104, or through the website at www.CastleViewFootball.com.
Castle View coach Todd Casebier will make sure there will be enough players on hand to finish the landscaping job at the Brite home.
“In this culture about kids and society, it is all about me,” said Casebier. “So when you are giving back to Mr. Brite that’s not about you. It’s about him. That’s what we want our kids to understand, that they are part of the community.
“That landscaping we did was a small example of what we can do to help somebody. We’re going to do more this fall and we’re going to have more guys there. It’s something we want to do, not just for him but for other people too.”
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-566-4083.
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