Home Diocesan News Central Catholic grid players don helmets honoring Father Kaylor
Central Catholic grid players don helmets honoring Father Kaylor Print E-mail
Friday, 08 September 2017 14:31

CANTON – For more than 40 years, Father Robert Kaylor was a fixture at Canton Central Catholic High School football games, but a stroke he suffered last March has ended his presence there for the time being.

Yet members of the Central grid squad were determined to keep their longtime teacher, principal, and finally president in attendance at their games – at least in spirit.

The varsity players’ helmet this season bears a small sticker on their helmet with the Central Catholic shield and the initials RK – for “Robert Kaylor” –  and a cross in the center.

Father Kaylor, known throughout Stark County for his long-standing devotion to Central Catholic, has rarely missed a game during his tenure, standing on the sidelines with the team and coaches – offering prayer and emotional support.

“Father Kaylor is in rehab but has been making much progress and continues to do so,” said Kristie Cramer, Central’s marketing, development, and alumni director. “He even came to our president’s reception recently.”

Head football coach Jeff Lindesmith and the seniors on the team went to visit Father Kaylor before the first game of the season Aug. 25 and presented him with his own helmet with his initials and the emblem.

“We decided to add the stickers to our helmets because we wanted Father Kaylor to know that he is always with us, just as he has always been here for all of us – not just the football players but everyone who is part of the Central Catholic community,” Coach Lindesmith said.

“It was important to the whole team to honor Father and let him know we are carrying him in our hearts,” said Nolan Goehring, senior offensive lineman.

“Having Father with us before every game meant a lot to us. He prayed with us and reminded us to focus on what really mattered as we played.”

The encounter, Coach Lindesmith said, was an emotional moment for all involved. Father Kaylor was moved by the honor but more so by the visit from the players, the coach said. Father Kaylor took time to speak with every player individually to see how their year was going and what their plans were for this year and next year when they head off to college.

“Giving the helmet to Father and seeing how happy it made him, gave us extra drive to go out and play our best and play with heart,” said Joe Fuchs, a senior offensive lineman. “We want to do our very best for Father and our coaches.”


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