The 12th Man
CALIFORNIA, MO -- Curtis Atwell goes to every California football game, home and away, varsity and JV.
"It's the most wonderful thing you can do when you can sit out here and watch these young men grow," Atwell said.
In fact, in the past two decades, Atwell has been to every game, but one. "I missed one game when my mom passed away," Atwell said.
Not only does he go to every game, the man goes to every single practice. "I'm out here rain or shine for the practices," Atwell explained.
He doesn't even have a son on the team.
"He graduated in 2000," Atwell said, but that doesn't matter to him. "I've got a lot people that say, 'how many kids do you have?' and I say I've got 43 cause I claim all of them."
Atwell's wife has been running a daycare in California for 26 years, so he and his wife have known many of the players since they were babies.
"I think of Curt, well, as a second dad, kind of. I've always been close to him." Ryan Korte said.
Curtis's wife understands the relationship between her husband and the players very well.
"The boys love him. He's the taxi driver for them, he's the doctor. If they forget something or they need something, Curtis will make sure they get it," Betty Atwell, his wife, said.
Whether it's practice or game night, Atwell is always there for the team.