This season the Duxbury High School football
team won its second straight Super Bowl Championship. They have won 26
games in a row, the longest winning streak in the state. Many of the
team members are headed for Ivy League colleges. As a group they are as
humble as they are successful. What may be more impressive than their
football accomplishments are their actions off the field.
Duxbury was going through preseason camp in August, the warm winds of
summer carried devastating news throughout this small town of 15,000
people. One of their own, Lt. Timothy Steele, Duxbury Class of
2004, had been killed in combat in Afghanistan after insurgents attacked
his unit with explosives. Lt. Steele left a wife, Meghan, and a one-year-old daughter, Liberty.
Steele was a cross country runner, swimmer and outdoor track star. He
didn't even play football. After his memorial service the football team
took it among themselves to honor his name and help his family. While
most high school football players are starting a new year they are
consumed with new classes, practice, college applications and girls.
This group created time to do something more important.
They started the "Liberty Fund."
carried buckets at the varsity games asking for donations. Each player
in the program (there are 110 of them) was asked to write a letter to 10
different people asking to help out. By late fall these young men
matured beyond their years. They raised \$35,000 for the Lilberty Fund.
"The life of a teenager is pretty small," coach Dave Maimaron told me recently," the death of Lt. Steele and the aftermath made their world a whole lot bigger."
weekend after another win, with a playoff game on the slate five days
later, the entire team showed up at Lt. Steele's parents house to rake
and bag leaves. They found plenty of time to practice, prepare and win
week after week. They had enough room in their hearts for a grief
Duxbury's slogan this season was "Strength,
Honor, Liberty." They lived up to their credo. This fall they all became
men, "Men of Steele."