ELYRIA– They’re Adidas Crazy 8’s, and Aaron Worthy knew they were kind of hot.
Even with a price tag of $120, he told his mother during a recent back-to-school shopping trip he had to have them in order to start the new school year in style.
Someone else likely thought so, too, because the shoes came up missing and presumably stolen within three days of school. But fellow members of the Elyria High School freshman football team immediately rallied around the player, proving that they stick together even when it comes to donating money to buy someone shoes.
Aaron said he was not happy to return to his locker last Wednesday to find his new shoes gone.
“I was almost sick to my stomach,” he said. “They were my teammates and I didn’t think we would steal from each other.”
The door to the locker room at Elyria high stadium was locked and it is believed that no one went into the room while the team was on the field practicing. The shoes never resurfaced, but it did not take long for teammates to move past the problem of the stolen shoes and onto a solution of how to get Aaron new ones.
“I just thought it was the right thing to do,” said 14-year-old Trevor Workman. “Aaron’s never been mean to anyone really so he didn’t deserve this.”
It was Trevor’s idea to buy the shoes. With 48 players on the team, he knew if everyone gave a few dollars then the shoes could be repurchased. In the first day, the players – all 13- and 14-year-old freshmen – raised $82. Aaron came up with the rest.
“I think we’re a really solid team,” Trevor said. “A lot of people know each other because we’ve been practicing for a few weeks or from playing football together in earlier years. We don’t know for sure who took the shoes, but as a team we’re sticking together.”
Aaron said he wasn’t expecting to be handed a fistful of cash after practice Monday.
“They didn’t do it so I felt kind of bad that I was taking their money, but at the same time I thought they were cool teammates and helped me out even though they didn’t do anything,” he said.
Aaron has been playing football since seventh grade and said this team is one of the most cohesive.
“We always had a sense of friendship. When we played Elyria Catholic, we won the game,” he said. “We stuck together and stayed strong.”
Michelle Novak, Aaron’s mother, said the generosity of the team helped lessen the sting of her son losing the pricey shoes. She is not in the habit of buying $120 shoes often and usually gets her son two high-priced pairs of shoes a year.
“I am so amazingly proud and excited for this group of young men we have on this freshman team,” she said.
As for the shoes, Novak said a replacement pair in Aaron’s size had to be reordered as the Finish Line shoe store at Midway Mall was out by the time he returned. They should arrive by Tuesday and will likely be back on her son’s feet soon after.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.