Captain Lucas

Elsa Berisha, staff writer

Lucas​ ​Reiling​ ​is​ ​an​ ​11​ ​year​ ​old​ ​boy​ ​from​ ​New​ ​Providence.​ ​As​ ​a​ ​child,​ ​he​ ​was​ ​diagnosed​ ​with​ ​a brain​ ​tumor.​ ​He​ ​is​ ​known​ ​for​ ​his​ ​passion​ ​for​ ​football,​ ​especially​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Providence​ ​team,​ ​which graduate​ ​Russell​ ​Davidson​ ​admired.​ ​Three​ ​years​ ​ago,​ ​the​ ​first​ ​“Lucas​ ​Game”​ ​was​ ​held,​ ​and tradition​ ​was​ ​carried​ ​on​ ​by​ ​Ryan​ ​Pope,​ ​a​ ​recent​ ​graduate,​ ​and​ ​this​ ​year​ ​by​ ​Patrick​ ​Trezza,​ ​a senior​ ​co-captain​ ​of​ ​the​ ​team.​ ​As​ is ​tradition,​ ​they​ ​named​ ​Reiling​ ​Honorary​ ​Captain​ of the New​ ​Providence​ ​High​ ​School​ ​Football​ ​team ​for​ ​the September 23, 2017​ ​game against Delaware Valley.

“Lucas​ ​is​ ​a​ ​fantastic​ ​kid,​ ​it’s​ ​the​ ​least​ ​we​ ​can​ ​do​ ​for​ ​him.​ ​As​ ​he​ ​keep​ ​on​ ​fighting​ ​forward​ ​we always​ ​want​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​support​ ​him,”​ said​ ​Trezza.​

​Although it was a tough​ ​game, Trezza said the Pioneers were determined to be inspired by their honorary captain:​ ​ “At​ ​halftime​ ​we​ ​were​ ​all​ ​pretty​ ​beat​ ​up​ ​and​ ​overheating.​ ​However,​ ​we all​ ​agreed​ ​that​ ​we​ ​would​ ​push​ ​through​ ​and​ ​play​ ​with​ ​all​ ​our​ ​might​ ​for​ ​Lucas,​ ​who​ ​came​ ​with​ ​a 102​ ​fever.​ ​We​ ​had​ ​him​ ​set​ ​in​ ​the​ ​back​ ​of​ ​our​ ​minds​ ​and​ ​it​ ​made​ ​us​ ​play​ ​harder.”

Reiling​ ​made​ ​a​ ​lasting​ ​impact​ ​on​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​team, who will continue the tradition​ ​and their​ ​dedication​ ​to him.

“Lucas​ ​is​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​team now.​ ​Ryan​ ​Pope​ ​and​ ​Russell​ ​Davidson​ ​gave​ ​us​ ​a​ ​lifelong​ ​teammate​ ​that​ ​we​ ​will​ ​always continue​ ​to​ ​support,”​ said Trezza.  ​

To​ ​raise​ ​awareness​ about ​brain​ ​tumors,​ ​the​ ​football​ ​team​ ​and​ ​cheerleaders​ ​raised​ ​money​ ​for​ ​the cause by selling ​bracelets​ ​and​ ​taking donations​ ​from​ ​collection​ ​tins​ ​to​ ​donate to​ ​Camp​ ​Sunshine,​ ​a​ ​supportive​ ​program​ ​for​ ​families​ ​affected​ ​by​ ​a​ ​life-threatening​ ​childhood illness.