PUEBLO – A high school football team in Pueblo gives their number-one fan a surprise he’ll remember for a lifetime.
8-year-old Chase Algien lives for the Pueblo East Eagles, making sure to go to every game and out-cheer everyone on the stands.
But he also lives with cerebral palsy and when a recent surgery forced him to go through tough times, the Eagles stepped in, asking him to join them on the field and make his dream come true.
It started as a dream, years in the making.
Chase Algien, bound to a wheelchair, always cheering and watching his favorite team from the sidelines.
“He screams and hollers and is really into it and he just really loves it,” his mother Dannielle Algien described.
But he dreamed of one day playing with the Pueblo East Eagles.
[“I like east, i mean, i love them!” Chase shouted with excitement.
The eagles love him right back.
“Nothing but love for him on this team,” said wide receiver Kain Madrano.
“And that’s just how we are.”
Recently, Chase had to get ankle surgery and was feeling down.
So his family reached out to the team and they stepped right up, bringing their number one fan onto the field after their Wednesday afternoon practice.
“With what he’s dealing with in life, we just want to make him happy,” Madrano remarked.
“And so he’s making us happy and we just want to return the favor.”
The players let him take the ball all the way home.
“I scored a touchdown!” Chase proclaimed.
“It was awesome, I always wanted to do that!”
For mother Dannielle Algien, it was the perfect remedy.
“Everything that happened came at the right place for him because it gave him the extra motivation that he needed to get through,” she added.
Coach Andy Watts was proud of his players.
“[They’re a] great group of young men,” he said.
“We want to win football games but more than that, we want to instill characteristics that will carry on into life and that’s putting others first.”
It’s a memory Chase and these players will cherish for a lifetime.
“So happy, there was a lot of players surrounded by me,” Chase said.
“To see, you know, not only Chase’s smile but all the smiles on our players – it was priceless,” said Watts.
And now that his dream came true, Chase has another one : he wants to “become an East football player.”
But to these players, his friends, he already is.
“He’s part of our team,” said Madrano.
“He’s part of our brotherhood so anything we need to do for him, we’ll do.”
It could take up to a full year for Chase to recover from his surgery.
But the Eagles vow to be with him every step of the way, already inviting him to join them on the field for this upcoming Wednesday’s practice.