For a football team preparing to play a championship game, a day off might likely include lots of rest, watching film and discussing strategy.
While the seventh-grade Arvada Bulldogs spring football team may have those things in mind, it spent the morning of Sunday, May 12, giving back to the community.
Thirteen days before the team faces the Valor Christian Broncos for the BCS Bowl championship, the Bulldogs participated in Arvada’s Fillup A. Can litter patrol program.
The program calls for volunteers to spend part of a day picking up litter along Arvada’s parks, creeks and streets. The Bulldogs covered Little Dry Creek Trail from Thomas Elementary to Vance Street.
The team seemed to prove doing good for the city can be fun when they cheered on a teammate as he unearthed a rusted, mangled bicycle frame from the creek.
Noah Engen, a linebacker and running back for the Bulldogs who was recently nominated to the National Juniors Honor Society, said the Fillup A. Can program is more important than sleeping in.
“It shows how much we care for and support our city,” Engen said.
Volunteers can select a route to clean up and then pick up bags, maps and safety vests from Arvada’s city hall. Fillup A.Can Days began on Earth Day, April 22, and conclude with the city’s Trails Day and Eco-Fair on the June 1.
June 1 is also the day the Bulldogs take on the Valor Christian Broncos for the spring season title. The Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed at 6-1.
The Bulldogs only loss came at the hands of the No. 1 seeded Broncos who are undefeated.
While good blocking and tackling fundamentals are part of the Bulldogs’ winning formula, the team seeks additional strength with the time they spend together off the field. The team has barbecues, skiing trips and a scavenger hunt that benefits the food bank.
Chuck Bolejack, a coach for the Bulldogs, wanted to increase the team’s awareness of their community and environment.
“I want them to be aware of the effect trash can have on the environment and realize that if everyone picked up after themselves they wouldn’t have to be here right now,” Bolejack said.