Getting results: people step up to help youth football team

Published: Jul. 13, 2011 at 7:43 PM EDT
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Coach Maize surveys the damaged storage shed
Coach Maize surveys the damaged storage shed
The Golden Eagles burned storage shed
The Golden Eagles burned storage shed
Some of the Golden Eagles burned equipment
Some of the Golden Eagles burned equipment

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 viewers are getting results for a local youth football program. We brought you the story of the Shawnee Golden Eagles over the weekend. An arsonist destroyed all of their equipment they had worked so hard to buy.

"I just prayed," said Golden Eagles Coach Richard Maize. "I said, 'God, what's going on?''

The destruction of his team's equipment left Maize unsure of where to turn.

"When it first happened, I went home, I couldn't believe it," Maize said. "There's a lot of kids, that this is all they have. They don't have a lot down there. You can just ride through and see."

Then the coach told the story of his team and the arsonist who targeted them on WAVE 3 and people started calling.

"(U of L football) Coach (Charlie) Strong, he called us last week said he's going to help us out," maize said. "We're attending a camp from Amobi Okoye."

Then, this week another Louisville football legend, former Green Bay Packer Paul Hornung, read the story and couldn't believe it.

"When I saw these young kids and some idiot had the audacity to break in and steal their equipment," he said of the arson, "I do not understand that... first thing I thought of, I'd like to do something to try to help them."

Hornung saw a little bit of himself in the kids growing up, playing football in Louisville's West End.

"I played down there, but it's been a long time ago," he said.

So he made a promise to the coach: "I told him, I said, 'Whatever it costs to replace the equipment, I'll take care of that for you.'"

Maize is simply amazed and now proud of the message this tragedy, turned triumph will teach his players.

"Even though it was a big blow at the beginning, but it's turned into a blessing," the coach said. "It just lets kids know that there are still people out here that care, that there are still a lot of good people in the world."

Hornung says as soon as Maize knows exactly how much he needs, he'll write the check and his involvement may not end there. The two talked practice times so the Shawnee Golden Eagles may have an NFL Hall of Famer watching from the sidelines sometime soon.

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