Men of Steele - By Mike Lynch
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.
As 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.
Timothy 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."
Freshman 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."
Thanksgiving 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 stricken family.
Duxbury's slogan this season was "Strength, Honor, Liberty." They lived up to their credo. This fall they all became men, "Men of Steele."