CASTLETON — Castleton University linebacker Wyatt Prue saved a life and was recognized as a hero Sunday at the Castleton University football awards banquet.
Maybe Prue is sheepish about the word “hero.” After all, he was simply doing what he said he would want someone to do for his own grandmother.
Prue, like his teammates, was tested and registered for bone marrow donation. The likelihood, however, of actually getting the call that you might be a match is extremely slim.
“I was very, very surprised,” Prue said of receiving that call telling him that he was a potential match.
That began a series of trips to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, for tests and injections.
“There were five days of injections to grow your stem cells. It makes you feel like you have the flu,” Prue said.
It turned out that Wyatt was a 100 percent match for someone suffering from leukemia.
“He decided without hesitation to help the person,” CU defensive coordinator Blaise Zambrano said in telling Prue’s story. “It is because of him that a grandmother will have more time with her children and grandchildren and get to grow old with her spouse.”
Prue doesn’t know the name of the person whose life he saved, only that she is a 68-year-old grandmother.
“If it were my grandmother, I would want someone to do it,” Prue said.
Prue said donating the marrow and knowing the result has been extremely gratifying.
Handing the award to him was another person Zambrano referred to as a hero. It was Rutland’s Nate Cosgrove.
Cosgrove is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, leaving him confined to a wheelchair. It is a disease that strikes boys and causes progressive muscular weakness.
Zambrano referred to Cosgrove as “the epitome of strength, courage and a positive attitude,” and added that he does not let the disease define him.
When Cosgrove handed the award to Prue, the audience’s reaction left no doubt that they were watching two heroes.
The 2019 captains were announced for the season that will begin with a home game against Plymouth State on Sept. 7. Captains will be Dustin Rock, Will Mossop, Seth Gerwanter and Lucas Carlson.
Moe Harris received the Offensive Player of the Year award and later received more recognition from head coach Tony Volpone as arguably the best player ever to wear the Spartan uniform.
Harris broke 12 school records as a running back and a return man.
Harris is scheduled to perform at a combine in New Jersey for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders.
Mill River graduate Mike Morgan received the Special Teams Player of the Year accolade.
The Scholar Athlete of the Year honor went to linebacker Grant Cummings, who maintained a 3.91 GPA in season as a Health Science major.
Offensive lineman Tucker Gaudette was awarded the Impact Player of the Year honor.
The Defensive Player of the Year award went to Chris Rice, who had 22.5 tackles for a loss and returned an interception 80 yards for a score.
The Spartan Award went to John Vita. That honor is voted on by the team and takes into consideration all of the qualities referenced in the program’s mission statement.
Former Fair Haven Union High School and Mount St. Joseph head coach Brian Grady was in attendance as the Spartans’ new offensive coordinator.
The 2019 schedule: Sept. 7, Plymouth State at home; Sept. 14, at Fitchburg State; Sept. 21, at University of New England; Sept. 28, Norwich, Home; Oct. 12, Gallaudet, home; Oct. 19, at SUNY Maritime; Oct. 26, at Alfred State; Nov. 2, Anna Maria, home; Nov. 9, at Dean.
There are only nine games this season and only five Eastern Collegiate Football Conference games as the result of Husson University leaving for the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Keystone College will come aboard as the seventh ECFC team in 2020.