Friday, December 20, 2013

Alex's Eggnog Cookies

We like to carry on Alex's annual tradition of making these cookies for Christmas.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alex's Helmet: What Brotherhood Really Means

by Julian Gonzalez

Great football teams always have a tradition that unites the players before every game. Clemson has the tradition of touching the rock before charging the field, Notre Dame football players tap the “play like a champion today” sign prior to game time, and like these schools, there’s a small high school football team in Ave Maria, Florida, that also carries on a powerful pre-game tradition. 
Shamrock captains look skyward as they remember Alex and celebrate a playoff
that earned the team a trip to the state finals on December 14, 2013.
(Photo courtesy of the author's parents, Asst. Coach Don Stuller & Mary Stuller)
Instead of a rock or a sign, this strong band of brothers touch the helmet of one of the biggest inspirations to every football player that has ever worn the blue and gold of Donahue Catholic Academy. The helmet of a former player, captain, and leader named Alex Klucik. He was a team captain on the first ever football team of Donahue Catholic leaving behind a legacy incomparable to others.

Sadly, about four years ago, he passed in a tragic car accident. Extremely sad at the time, we can now look back on his life and cherish all the good he did for not only Donahue football, but everyone he knew in his life. We can also take comfort knowing with a smile, he watches his Shamrocks take the field every week.

Alex was not just any ordinary Donahue Shamrock football player; he was a leader, a captain, and a friend. Alex was the first one at every practice and game and the first one to hit the field. He led the charge, breaking the banner, before every home game, and he remained passionate through every minute he wore the pads.

His effort exceeded that of every one else and his care for the team made him truly a worthy captain. He expected nothing less from all of us than our absolute best and was always there to mentor his friends and teammates in times of need. I always looked up to him as an older brother and someone that was there for me through my early years of high school and I know for a fact many others felt the same way.

Not only was it an honor to play with him, but it’s even more of an honor to be able to say he was my friend. The Donahue football tradition of touching his helmet will never be forgotten. When every Shamrock football player places their hands on Alex’s helmet, they know what brotherhood really means.

It means never forgetting your brother and offering up all the pain and struggles on and off the field for him. We touch his helmet to offer up the entire game for his memory and for a brother we will never forget. Alex exemplified what it means to be a Shamrock. His memory and the tradition of  Alex’s helmet will be carried on, remembered, and honored forever.

Julian Gonzalez graduated from the Rhodora J. Donahue Academy of Ave Maria in 2012 and was a member of the Donahue Shamrock football team throughout is first three years of existence. He is a sophomore at Florida State University.