Stephenville is holding its fifth annual Heart of Gold football game next Friday, Sept. 20, benefiting the son of a Yellow Jacket coach.
Boyd Mabry, the infant son of Stephenville assistant coach Garrett Mabry and his wife Simone, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It's a rare congenital heart defect with the eft ventricle being severely underdeveloped.
"Basically he was born with half a heart. The left side of his heart never developed," said Garrett Mabry, a Tarleton State alumnus.
Boyd had his second round of surgeries Monday, when the actual repair of the heart began.
"They are reworking how the blood flows from his heart to his lungs and from his lungs back to the heart," Garrett said. "He's been through a lot already."
Barefoot Athletics is printing and selling $12 Heart of Gold T-shirts, with all proceeds going directly to the Mabry family.
"This is something that means a great deal to me, and I've seen how much it means to this community," said Stephenille head coach Joe Gillespie. "This community, time and time again, amazes me how they come together to help people in need. It's just part of what makes Stephenville such a great place to live and such a great place to raise a family."
The Heart of Gold game has always centered around children. It began with young Presley Boydstun, a cancer patient and the niece of Stephenville offensive coordinator Greg Winder.
"When we heard about Presley's situation, we instantly started wondering what we could do to help, so we came up with a plan," Gillespie said. "We really just planned it for that one game and for her, but it went so well, we decided to do it every year. And unfortunately, we never run out of kids who could use our help."
Four years later, the Mabrys will be the honorees when Stephenville hosts Waco La Vega. The Jackets will be in their traditional gold jerseys purchased special for the annual event.
Order forms for the T-shirts have been distributed to all SISD campuses, and should be returned with payment by Thursday. There will also be a limited supply of shirts available at the Barefoot Athletics retail store, located across from the Tarleton State administration building on Washington Street.