Youth Maize football players pause practice to honor veterans


MAIZE, Kan. (KSNW) – The normal rush of an afternoon football practice for the Maize Junior Football team got an unexpected surprise, Saturday, September 12.

“It was kind of faint for a second but once it started going,” said Noah Vest, youth player.

Vest and his teammates were hearing the sorrowful notes of taps. The sound was coming nearby from a flag ceremony from a Kansas Honor Flight memorial fundraiser.

That sound turning into a call to action for the sixth-grade team.

“We realized we had to take our helmets off and put our hand over our heart,” he said.

The boys pausing practice to take time to admire the flag and what it represents.

“For the soldiers who served and fights for our freedoms,” Bransen Case said.

“We wouldn’t be out here playing football any of that, playing baseball, any of our sports if it weren’t for our veterans in our country,” Vest said.

The boys not knowing across the street, the Kansas Honor Flight members and veterans were watching them.

“It was so genuine and spontaneous, and it was just very heartwarming,” said Lavonna Schlageck, Flight Leader for the Kansas Honor Flight.

The team of sixth-graders joining in on the opening ceremony and singing along with the national anthem.

Schlageck says it was a small gesture with a big impact.

“Well can you see the tears in my eyes now? That’s pretty much how it felt.”

A local Vietnam veteran met with the boys Sunday afternoon and gave each player a special Kansas Honor Flight patch and pin to show gratitude.

The boys are hoping to inspire others to thank the veterans.

“Because they don’t get much support after they stop fighting for our country. It’s just good to honor them,” said Riley Brown.


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