Military Recognition Game honored former students and community members
The General Brown varsity football team’s Sept. 13 game against Lowville served as a special night to many in the community.
Not only was it the 2019-20 home opener for the Lions, it marked the third annual Military Recognition Game organized by the Friends of GB Football.
The 10th Mountain Division Band played the National Anthem and military service songs, and a color guard from the New York State Police marched out to the sideline with the team, which wore special camouflage jerseys. Community members who previously served and currently serve in a branch of the U.S military were recognized in the game program, on the Friends of GB Football Facebook page and on posters displayed at the field.
Prior to the game, the group had invited all former GB football players who serve or have served in the military to submit photos so they could be honored. Large poster boards that included 50 photos of former GB football players who went on to serve in the military lined the fence so people saw them as they walked to the field. The photos were also included in the game programs. Submissions ranged from the Class of 1954 to the Class of 2018 and included many individuals who are still serving, as well as several veterans. One, Daniel Smith, was killed in Vietnam.
“The General Brown Football program has been built on core values of family, loyalty, character, sacrifice and community. We are honored to recognize these former players who, after graduation, carried those core values one step further and chose to serve our great nation with the heart of a Lion,” said Kristi Bice, Friends of GB Football secretary and coordinator of the event.
This year, in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of his line of duty death, the district retired the jersey of former GB student David J. Lane, Class of 1997. Lane served in the U.S. Army prior to becoming a New York State Trooper. Lane’s parents, Steve and Cheryl Lane, his brother Steve and his fiancée Kelly Miller Brainard attended the event.
Prior to the game, the varsity football team sold more than 300 DJL shirts and sweatshirts, which many people wore that evening. During the halftime ceremony, Friends of GB Football officers Michael Lane, Donna Keefer and Bice presented jerseys with David Lane’s former number, 30, to Lane’s parents and his brother. One will also be displayed in the General Brown Junior-Senior High School.
“The Lane family has been an integral part of our program for decades, and David was the epitome of what our program strives to instill in all of our players: Duty - Love - Honor - Sacrifice,” the Friends of GB Football wrote on its Facebook page.
A selection of photos from the event is posted on the district Facebook page: @generalbrowncsd.