Riverdale High School Learns Valuable Life Lessons

RIVERDALE, Calif.

Special camouflage jerseys on, motorcycles revved up and circling the track, the Cowboys were reminded of sacrifices made by military members, whose names were on their backs.

"Showing these guys what it means to serve this country and sacrifice," said Riverdale Head Coach Dana Minard. "I ask these guys to sacrifice all year long but it's the military that serves, it's the police department, the firemen. So we just try to give back to that."

Spearheaded by coach Minard, Riverdale's third annual Salute to the Military brought a community located just 10 miles from NAS Lemoore together.

"I support my troops," said Riverdale Quarterback Oscar Diaz. "My sister is in the military, so I feel like we need to support each and every one of them. It's an honor being able to wear the color they wear, and not our color."

A visit to the Fresno VA hospital allowed Cowboy players to meet real-life heroes, the people they played for.

"Seeing people missing stuff, parts and everything, they did it for our country," said Riverdale Lineman Daniel Magaña. "Why not do something for them, just to honor them?"

Honor them, and learn from them. The Cowboys took their lessons and used them against rivals Laton. When the dust settled, it was Riverdale giving their special jerseys to the families who sponsored them, and taking back their beloved Milk Can trophy.

"We've basically figured out," said Magaña, "that if we work together we can get more accomplished than working alone and trying to be an individual."

A high school football success: Taking the concept of team, and making better individuals.

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