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When Football Stopped for Just a Moment

Sep. 20, 2017

When Football Stopped for Just a Moment

At some point, somewhere between weight training, ladder drills, film study, chalk talk, sled work, and hill sprints, football stopped for just a moment.  There was a family.  A family searching desperately for a reason to smile.

As the Lorne Park Spartans crossed through the hotel lobby, two young boys stood watching in awe.  The shiny helmets, the crisp white uniforms, the huge shoulder pads - their family had been living in the hotel for several weeks, and this was the first time they'd seen anything that captured their attention like this.  The boys watched in wonder as an endless line of players silently boarded their bus bound for The University of Windsor's Alumni Field.

The summer of 2017 hadn't been kind to the Melanson family.  Record rainfall in Essex County flooded their home, rendering it uninhabitable.  A series of health problems only added to their family's stress, but for the first time in almost a month, both boys wore gigantic smiles.

Following the game, they waited in the hotel lobby so they could high five their new heroes as they got off the bus.

After talking to the Melanson parents and finding out about their situation, a group of Lorne Park players approached the coaching staff with a request.  They wanted to knock on the family's door and present both boys with their very own Spartans jersey.  It was an emotional scene as the entire team poured into the small hotel room and gave the boys their jerseys.  LB Luke Tejerina happily handed over his #1, and OL Alwaz Aziz his #56.

At breakfast the next morning, both boys were proudly wearing their jerseys as they sat with the team, grinning ear to ear.  They'd be Spartans fans for life.

It was an amazing trip for the Lorne Park Spartans.  They'd travelled across the province, practiced and played at a university stadium, watched an OUA game in another, and met with a number of university coaches.  But the most important thing that happened on this trip wasn't about football, it was about making a difference by giving a wonderful family a reason to smile.




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