A letter from Gold Helmet winner Dylan McCaffrey
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.