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Lending a helping hand.  That’s what it’s all about.  One middle school football program and their coach recently handed down a life lesson by a small gesture of kindness.

The Hatch Valley middle school football team was playing Socorro.  The first half was coming to a close and one of the officials, Shaun Cooper, noticed some of the Socorro players did not have tailbone pads.  The official informed the Socorro coach of the situation and the coach asked, “Are they going to give us some of theirs?”

“That’s exactly what we are going to do,” said Hatch varsity coach Louis Howell.  “I knew we had a plethora of extra hip and thigh pads lying around the fieldhouse that no longer get used.”

At the next timeout, the Hatch Valley coach approached the Socorro sideline and asked how many tailbone pads they would need.  He told Coach Howell they would need about six or seven.  Coach Howell went to the fieldhouse and dug through some boxes and returned with hip and thigh pads, as well as tailbone pads, and delivered them to the Socorro team.

“One of the core values of Hatch Valley Football is character,” said Howell. “Character is who you are when you think nobody is watching you. I believe Coach Jack Cisco taught me that. This game is all about the kids, and we want to set good examples for them.”

“I don’t think our players even knew that this happened,” he added. “If they did, I don’t think they would look at it as a big deal. That would just be ‘what we do’.  I’d like to think all of our other coaches would have done the same thing had they been in my shoes.”

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