The undefeated Chiefs and Indians got together this week at Arrowhead Stadium and spread a little joy to those in need in the metro area.
Members of the 6-0 Kansas City Chiefs and 7-0 Fort Osage High School Indians handed out 2,500 crates of frozen chicken and ham Tuesday to a never-ending procession of trucks and vans that represented a number of agencies that deal with the metro’s neediest families.
“We wanted to connect a successful, local football team with the Chiefs, and Fort Osage was the perfect choice,” said Harvesters communications manager Sarah Biles, who coordinate the event for the community food network. “We wanted the high school players to get involved with community service and also give them the chance to meet the Chiefs. Since both teams are undefeated, it seemed like the perfect match.”
It certainly was from the Indians’ point of view.
“It was fantastic, I don’t even know how to explain it,” senior offensive lineman Griffin Bledsoe said. “Helping people and meeting the Chiefs, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Added senior lineman Bryce Palmer: “We got to help a lot of people and we did it with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was awesome.”
When coach Ryan Schartz was informed of the opportunity for his players to help Harvesters and meet the Chiefs, he made sure their absence from school would be excused.
“We took all the seniors who could make it,” Schartz said, “and we’ve got a bunch of A-plus guys who can afford an unexcused absence. Since this involved community service, they were able to get away and have it excused and they had a blast.
“And so did I. I got to talk to (Chiefs chairman of the board) Clark Hunt and the players, and it was pretty amazing. I was impressed. I can’t imagine how impressed the guys were.”
Senior running back Ezra Vaoifi tweeted a series of photos with the Chiefs players and said, “Kendrick Lewis was talking about how both the teams were undefeated. He was like, ‘Yo, 13-0 – Chiefs and Indians.’ It was so cool.”
Offensive lineman Joey Niedel said he and his teammates treated the cases of food like bales of hay.
“We were just throwing them onto the truck like we were baling hay,” Niedel said.
Added fellow offensive lineman Dalton Miller: “I’ve done a lot of baling. It was so much fun. It’s cool when you can have fun and help people.”
Linebacker Nathan Iloilo had a photo on his phone with his favorite Chiefs player, Derrick Johnson.
“It was so cool to just talk to them as regular people, talking about football and helping people and being undefeated,” Iloilo said. “None of us will ever forget it.”
Follow Bill Althaus on Twitter: @AlthausEJC