Young cancer survivor signs with Vikings football team

Story and photos by Dylan Keith

Caleb Bradfield officially signs to the LBCC Vikings football program, with the help of player Cross Poyer, as his mother and sister look on.

Caleb Bradfield, a 9 year old cancer survivor, was signed to the LBCC Vikings football program after a season of attending practices, games, and team events.

After being diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, Bradfield missed having the chance to learn sports while the other children his age were, so after winning his fight with cancer, Bradfield’s parents met with Miller Children’s Hospital, who introduced them to Team Impact.

Team Impact, a national non-profit organization, connects with children who are, or have faced, chronic illnesses with colleges, but more specifically to the athletic teams.

LBCC’s football program was highly recommended by Team Impact and even though football was not his prefered sport at the time, he still took part in the program.

During the 2018-2019 season, Bradfield attended practices, walked out of the tunnel with the team, stood with them on game days, and would even go out to team events, such as getting frozen yogurt.

“Going into it he was very hesitant about it, but after spending time with the team he was in love with it,” Mrs. Bradfield said about the program. “He’s not so much a fan of football as he’s a fan of the Viking’s.”

On Nov. 20 the football program hosted a signing event for Bradfield where he was officially signed to the football team.

The signing took place in the Q quad with chairs set up, a tent with a table for the official signing, and food for the attendees.

Athletes and students watch Caleb’s signing.

Students from all different sports teams such as volleyball, basketball, and soccer all attended the signing along with many coaches.

Bradfield’s mother and sister were sitting at the booth with him as he got signed, and gave a speech on how much this means to him and their family.

Bradfield’s signing means he has committed to attending at least two Viking’s football related events and the contract last for a year.

Coach Peabody, head coach and offensive coordinator, gave a speech at the signing saying, “Caleb has been a part of this team from the beginning of this season, and he’ll always be a Viking.”

Caleb Bradfeild and player Cross Poyer celebrating Caleb’s signing.

Cross Poyer, a defensive back on the team, also went up to the microphone with words for Bradfield as he said, “You’ve humbled us all as a team.”

At the end of the signing, Bradfield was also awarded with his very own helmet and jersey, complete with his name on the back.

“He already grew attached to the jersey, he wore it the next three days after the signing,” Bradfield’s mother said a few days after the signing.

Bradfield will resume the rest of his season in January where he will be able to start to engage more in practices for his next season.