Fallen service members honored at high school football game

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.-- Football can be more than just a game sometimes. For the players of Central Dauphin, Friday was that.

They played in their second Gold Star game, where players honored service members who died in action. Eleven players switched names with a fallen service member to honor the Gold Star families.

"These players are playing for our sons tonight and people will hear their names," Gold Star mom Barb Benard said. "They say you die twice. First when you pass away, and then twice when your name is heard no more."

The players arrived to the Gold Star families cheering for them as they went into the stadium. The 11 player selected their servicemen from around the state.

"It is just so heartwarming to know that young man cares deeply about the player he chose to play for," Gold Star mom Suzanne Sheaffer said.

It was heartwarming for the team as well. Central Dauphin head coach Glen McNamee said.

"To be able to have the honor of going out there and playing for a group of people such as this, you can't help but have a real sense of pride that carries over and bubbles over into a great deal of excitement," he said.

The Gold Star families honored the players but announcing that one of the players will receive a $500 scholarship.

"You're amazing young men both in your school and in your communities," Sheaffer said. "We love that in each and every one of you."

At halftime, the families were honored. The Gold Star families went out onto the field with the families of the players that were honoring their child.

"To be moms to them is just a great feeling that their parents are willing to share their children, their young heroes," Sheaffer said. "It's an amazing opportunity for everybody involved."

Now, there was still a challenging game to be played for Central Dauphin against Wilson, but the players would walk away with something no score can replace.

"This makes it so much more than just about football," McNamee said. "It's obviously something far greater than any one of us."

Sheaffer said next year's date is already set for this game to continue.