More than just football

Published On November 7, 2012 | By Meredith Perri

Elizabeth Johnson was concerned. Her 16-year-old daughter, who has a brain disorder, had told her that girls at her high school, Queen Creek in Arizona, were throwing trash at her. Rather than go to the principal of the school, however, she took a different path: she contacted the starting quarterback for the high school’s football team, Carson Jones.

“I emailed Carson, told him that Chy was having some issues, was just wanting some names,” Johnson said, according to the New York Daily News. “He took it a step further and went and gathered Chy up at lunch and she’s been eating lunch with them ever since.”

Jones did not just eat lunch with Chy. Along with several of his teammates, he began looking after Chy during the day and making sure that anyone who bothered her was stopped.

This caring step by the football team has brought them more fame than their undefeated record, and the team is happy about that.

“We’re doing good and everything for us is going well,” said Tucker Workman, one of the players on the football team, “but someone else needs to feel good, too.”

Chy suffers from a brain disorder called microcephaly, which makes her head smaller than normal. The disorder also tends to shorten one’s life expectancy to only 25-30 years.

“They save me because I won’t get hurt again,” Chy said. “They’re not mean to me because all my boys love me.”

Chy, who was recently named a Queen Creek High School “Fan of the Week,” refers to the players as “her team.”

The football team has continued to find success on the field as it also continues its good deeds in the hallways, and the team has also been nominated for the America’s Team award.

While Johnson probably could have gone somewhere else to get help for her daughter, the fact that the football team stepped up in a such a swift and kind-hearted way really makes them stand out. It would have been easy for the team to brush off the request, or to say they were too focused on different things. It would not have been right — but it would have been easy.

By helping out Chy, the team took the prominence that it had garnered from on-field accolades and took it to a new level. That is where sports transcends the label of a game. These players are popular in school, and in many cases that translates into unnecessary entitlements. This time it meant they could utilize their classmates’ high opinions of the team to benefit someone who was struggling.

The decision to help out Chy is one that I think most people would hope that they would take if put into a similar situation. Nonetheless, it is an action that should be commended. It takes courage to stand up to others and defend against wrongdoings. The immediate response of the football team is truly heartwarming.

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About The Author

Meredith is a junior journalism student at Boston University. She has covered nearly every sport for The Daily Free Press, BU’s independent student newspaper, but mainly writes about women’s hockey. Meredith has also covered Major League Baseball as an intern with SNY and Follow her on Twitter at @mere579.