Jefferson City community rallies around one of its own after tragedy

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JEFFERSON CITY - For Jefferson City head coach Ted LePage, sophomore defensive lineman Issac Cordero represents everything he looks for in a high school football player.

"Issac is a young man that's very respectful. He just never does anything wrong," LePage said. "We have four pillars that we base our program on: Effort, toughness, discipline and honor. And he's always representing all four of those."
 
It would be his teammates who would need to represent those four pillars when tragedy struck. 
 
On March 17, a fire started in the basement of the Cordero's home in Jefferson City. Two pets died and the family was displaced.
 
"I received a phone call from [Assistant Coach] Chris Lueckenhoff," LePage said. "And he said 'Hey, I don't know if you know, but the Cordero family just lost all of their belongings in a house fire.' I was riding with my wife as we were coming into town and I said 'I need to do something' and she said, 'Yeah, you do.'"
 
That same day, just hours after the fire, a Facebook post from the Jefferson City football page called out to the Jays community, asking for any donations to help the Cordero family. 

"We just formulated a plan," LePage said. "At times there were people I wasn't able to talk to. There were just walking in and handing in something, or handing a gift certificate, or money. It really just showed me the power, not only of social media, but the power of Jefferson City."

Later that afternoon, the Cordero's were called to the Keith Weber Athletic Center, with no idea about the gift they were about to receive. 

"We were just told to pick up Issac," said Toni Cordero, Issac's mother. "I guess there was a mass email sent through the school district. When we came to pick up Issac there was a packet, and all the football players rallied around our son." 

video posted on the Jays Facebook page shows LePage and the team surprising the Cordero's with a donation of clothes, shoes, and other items for the family to start a new chapter in their lives. 

"It's amazing how the community helps people in a time of need," Toni Cordero said. "Everybody that we can possibly think of wrapped their arms around us and just hugged us, in regards of support, encouragement, giving us avenues to help better ourselves, to put our lives back together."

"This community is built on standing by each other," LePage said. "Standing up and respecting each other. Being part of a community is greater than yourself. It is helping another human being, and that's what I think our team got to experience in that, is serving another person." 

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