VINTON, Va. (WFXR) — At William Byrd high school, the football team has a special tradition of dedicating every game to a fallen soldier. Paying tribute to the military is an important part of being a terrier and this week’s Student Achiever embodies the same spirit and attitude as our nation’s servicemen and women.
At the final home game of the regular season at William Byrd, this particular night is reserved to honor the fallen.
“The military, it’s everything. I wouldn’t be able to play football if it wasn’t for them and their courage and bravery,” junior wide receiver Dominick Dulak said. “You just try to honor them and play your best for them because you don’t want to play weak for the guys that were so brave for us.”
That spirit and attitude is something that Dulak embodies every day in practice.
“We’re honored and blessed to have him as part of our team,” head coach Brad Lutz said. “He makes us better and he just makes the quality of the type of kid we want in our football program better and is a great role model to the younger players in our football program.”
For most of the season, the William Byrd receiver has been leading from the sidelines after suffering an injury in week three.
“”It was hard. It was hard that watching them play the rest of the half. It was hard the next day. I cried a lot. I’ll admit it,” Dulak said. “I went to the doctor. They told me it was broken. And then I went home and I was laying in bed and started watching film.”
Since the injury, Dulak has been like another member of the coaching staff, helping his teammates out whichever way he can.
“It’s tough when you’re a competitor. It’s difficult when you want to help your team and you can’t physically help them,” Lutz said. “But I think it really shines and shows his work ethic, his character that he can still find ways to help the team and still find ways to help us be successful and he’s still a big part of that.”
And on a night dedicated to those that gave their all, Lutz sees how our nation’s military has inspired players like Dulak.
“It’s selfless service. He’s such an unselfish person. He is a team first guy. I think he would do anything for the coaches, the players, his family, his school community,” Lutz said. “And I think that’s what really makes him a special part of not only our, but a special part of us understanding really what our tributes mean.”