In December 2019, Battle Ground Academy alums Clay Beathard and Paul Trapeni died protecting a friend.
This season, BGA will remember Beathard and Trapeni's tragic deaths by electing two deserving Wildcats to wear their jerseys.
Quarterback Brett Brown will don the "14" jersey Beathard wore in high school, and halfback/linebacker/long snapper Xavier Hylton will wear Trapeni's "43."
"Anyone that knows the story knows he died a hero," Brown said of Beathard. "He was saving a friend. Our team gathered, and they voted, and I got 14 to honor him, and Xavier Hylton got 43 to honor Paul Trapeni.
"It just meant so much to me that they thought that highly of me to represent him. So it's a big deal to me."
Beathard went on to play football at Long Island University, where he was enrolled at the time of his death. His family has a longstanding legacy at BGA, with both of his brothers, C.J. and Tucker, alums of the football program. His grandfather, Bobby Beathard, was a former NFL general manager.
In the first game the team remembered Beathard and Trapeni with this jersey honor, they defeated Nolensville on the road 42-32.
"Those two guys really demonstrated a courage, conviction, passion for the game," BGA head coach Jonas Rodriguez said of Beathard and Trapeni.
"So our seniors chose two guys who represented those guys...the characteristics those guys displayed as players, and Brett certainly models what Clay did with how courageous he can be, his conviction, his passion, his love for the game."
Former BGA quarterback Nick Semptimphelter is also wearing Beathard's 14 with Bucknell.
"Great start to a well needed tradition," said BGA alum Tiy Reed, currently a football player at Georgetown. "Congrats Brett - CB was one of the greatest competitors ever!"