A let­ter from Gold Hel­met win­ner Dy­lan McCaf­frey

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

Iam ex­tremely hum­bled and hon­ored to re­ceive the 2016 Den­ver Post Gold Hel­met Award. Born and raised in Colorado, I am very aware of this pres­ti­gious award and what it rep­re­sents. The past win­ners and their many ac­com­plish­ments are awe-in­spir­ing. They are men such as Fred Stein­mark, Dave Lo­gan, Justin Ar­mour, Chris­tian McCaf­frey, Carlo Kemp and so many oth­ers I as­pire to be like.

Back in 2013, as I be­gan my fresh­man year at Valor Chris­tian High School, I al­most did not play football. I never thought I could live up to the records my broth­ers set and the team’s suc­cess. Then one day, I re­al­ized I ac­tu­ally loved the sport. I loved be­ing part of a team, some­thing big­ger than my­self. I loved the ca­ma­raderie of my team­mates, all of us work­ing to­gether for a com­mon goal. The process is what I loved. John Har­baugh once wrote, “The value of football is the val­ues in football.” Valor Chris­tian coach Rod Sher­man em­pha­sized this every sea­son. He and the rest of the coaches never made win­ning the fo­cus, but he stressed do­ing the lit­tle things cor­rectly on every play.

This honor is es­pe­cially flat­ter­ing be­cause it takes aca­demics into ac­count as well as ath­let­ics. My par­ents have al­ways made sure our grades were a priority, even en­forc­ing that with­out good grades, there will be no ath­let­ics. I have had so many teach­ers who have spent ex­tra time help­ing me along the way. I will al­ways be in­debted to them, and I plan on pay­ing it for­ward by mak­ing my­self avail­able to help un­der­class­men or any­one else I can as­sist.

In ad­di­tion to football and aca­demics, this award ac­knowl­edges com­mu­nity ser­vice. I am for­tu­nate to go to a school that has in­stilled the value of ser­vice. I went on a Dis­cov­ery Trip to Thai­land last spring break and fell in love with the coun­try and the peo­ple. I re­al­ized not only how big this world is but also, what is im­por­tant in life. It is not money, so­cial me­dia or win­ning football games, but it is what you give to the world. It is how you treat peo­ple and the re­la­tion­ships you form.

Thank you to The Den­ver Post, Valor Chris­tian High School, my coaches, my teach­ers and my fam­ily for this honor.

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