Hours before taking the stage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the first of two shows on October 7, Garth Brooks was standing on the sidelines at Thomas Carr Howe High School, cheering on the kids at the youth football camp he hosted with Teammates for Kids.
Brooks brought some amazing football talent with him to help coach the kids. Five former NFL stars, all of whom are Teammates with connections to Indiana, were on hand to guide the young athletes through their drills and relays:
Joe Reitz - former offensive lineman with the Colts, born in Indianapolis
Dylan Gandy - former offensive lineman who won Super Bowl XLI with the Colts
Craig Terrill - former defensive tackle for the Seahawks, born in Indiana and played college football at Purdue
Ryan Baker - Indianapolis native and former defensive tackle for the Dolphins, also played at Purdue
Justin Snow - former long snapper who won Super Bowl XLI with the Colts
"I can't imagine being their age, seeing these guys come out. I would just be in awe. It would be the best day of my life!" Brooks said.
"It's all about creating special memories for kids. We are out here for three hours, with a lot of kids from Indianapolis, trying to give them a special day," said Reitz.
About 50 children, ages 9-13, enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime experience at no charge. They represented the Keenan-Stahl Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis; Lilly Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis; Wheeler-Dowe Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana; Indianapolis Charter Schools; and Tickets for Kids Charities.
Teammates For Kids presents the Good Teammate Award at each youth sports camp they sponsor. The award recognizes the young athletes who best demonstrate the traits of a Total Teammate, including leadership, toughness, unselfishness, and respect for the game and all of its participants. In Indianapolis, Good Teammate Awards were presented to: Aiden Hendrickson, age 9; Dayinaira Misiewicz, age 12; and Rico Bonds, age 13.
Teammates will continue to partner with Brooks to hold youth sports camps at every city on his World Tour. Brooks and athletes in each city will volunteer their time to coach kids in football, basketball, baseball, hockey, or soccer.