By Vince Teresi
Mt. Angel’s Kennedy Trojans finished the 2009 season as second in the state for 2A football, but their dream season was not over. They made another dream come true. Five members of the team accompanied by coach and Spanish teacher David Stavros and his wife, Gina, went to Lima, Peru over Christmas break to dedicate a home for a family that was built with money the team raised earlier this year.
Will Bochsler, Hunter Hill, Joe Schmidt, Derek Traeger and Alan Venegas painted the house built with the team funds, took part in cultural activities and met Peruvian teens.
Throughout the year, the Kennedy Trojans learned about “Virtue over Victory” to help players understand that what they do and who they become as a result of their actions is more important than how many games they win. This year the Trojans elected to donate all their fundraising money to Huts to Homes. Stavros, has done extensive work in poverty-stricken communities in Peru, and head coach Randy Traeger thought it provided an opportunity to teach players about making a difference in their world.
A community dinner followed by a letter campaign by the players raised $10,000, enough to build a basic home for a family.
In Flores de Villa, Peru, the family chosen was living with dirt floors, sheets for walls and one bedroom for the entire family. There was no hot water and the kitchen consisted of a small tabletop burner. The bathroom was a bucket and a bathtub. The new home changed the family’s life.