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North Pop Warner lends hand to Knights fan

November 23, 2016
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

When one of the biggest fans of the North Fort Myers Pop Warner football program started having trouble with his bike, the coaches decided it was time to pay back some of the support he's given them.

The coaches chipped in and bought this fan, who has a disability, a brand-new bicycle as well as safety equipment, keeping him from having to walk everywhere, since the bike is his only mode of transportation.

Tricia Davis, one of the team moms, said she saw him during the Peace River Conference playoffs and noticed that one of his tires was flat.

"I got on the bike and noticed it wasn't pedaling correctly and the tire was flat. We put air in his tire, but the next day at practice the tire was flat again," Davis said.

Davis, who along with coach Chris Reeves always gives back to the American Cancer Society, thought that if the coaches got together, they could get this fan, known as Don, a new bike.

"I texted the coaches and told them we needed to do this. He loves all the coaches, he's given us nicknames, I asked if they were OK to chip in," Davis said. "Everybody said they were in."

The coaches gave Davis the money a few days later at equipment return. The idea was to give him the bike and equipment at closing ceremonies in December, but was soon texted by the fan, who said he was walking two to three miles to the field because the tire had rotted out.

They couldn't wait for closing day, since the fan needed his bike to get to work. Reaves ran out and got the bike for him and presented it to him when he finally arrived shortly after 7 p.m. He also got a lock, tire pump, a compressor for the house and a new backpack.

"He became everyone's friend. He's passionate about cheering us on. He was very excited and it was a great thing to do," Reeves said.

This isn't the first time the fan has had bike issues. He had them last year when coach Troy McDonald saw him walking home in the rain and took him home, before bringing the bike to a shop to have it fixed.

The fan has spent the last three seasons coming to the field every single night by bicycle for practice, becoming a friend to all the coaches. Unfortunately, he misses games because he works.

"He's become a fixture at the field," Reeves said. "He likes to watch the cheerleading and the football and talks to us after practice."

"We've been covered for our football. It's not just teaching these kids about football. We teach them life lessons," Davis said.



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