Ex-Cowboy Ware presents Lamar with $3,000 grant for community project

As part of the Dallas Cowboys/Arlington ISD NFL Draft Community Outreach program, two elementary schools will be improved

  • Former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware (left) poses with Lamar football captain Josiah Mercado as part of Tuesday's Dallas Cowboys/Arlington ISD NFL Draft Community Outreach program. (Photo: Keven Costlow / Arlington Voice)
    Former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware (left) poses with Lamar football captain Josiah Mercado as part of Tuesday's Dallas Cowboys/Arlington ISD NFL Draft Community Outreach program. (Photo: Keven Costlow / Arlington Voice)
  • Lamar's team captains are shown with DeMarcus Ware, head football coach Laban DeLay and AISD Superintendant Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, along with the $3,000 check from the Dallas Cowboys. (Photo: Keven Costlow / Arlington Voice)
Keven Costlow

The captains of the Lamar High School football team know there is a lot of work ahead of them, but they also know it will be worth it when it’s finished.

Each of the high schools in the Arlington Independent School District is receiving a grant from the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys, and Lamar took its turn on Tuesday.

Former Cowboys defensive end and current Cowboys ambassador DeMarcus Ware presented the captains with a check for $3,000 from the Dallas Cowboys/Arlington ISD NFL Draft Community Outreach program for two projects in their community.

The two programs the Vikings will be working on involve the renovation of the courtyard at Maxey Speer Elementary and improving the playground at Marshall and Cloye Sherrod Elementary.

“They have the opportunity to rebuild the playground,” Ware said. “They’ll be able to leave a legacy for the future. These guys wanted to be part if this.”

The job will begin at Sherrod with replacing and improving worn out planks on the walkway.

It's a task Lamar assistant coach Steve Gill -- who repairs and replaces decks as a side hobby -- specializes in.

“I’m very proud of the great job these guys have done so far,” Gill said. “These are some very sharp dudes. There’s a reason they’re up on that stage.”

Junior Josiah Mercado will lead the second unit, which will repaint Speer Elementary’s map of the United States and some of the NFL's Play 60 stencils to leave a positive message.

Mercado's teammate, junior wide receiver Cedrick Davis II, said it's a project that he and his teammates wanted to take ownership of.

“We decided that we could do this and we wanted to," Davis said. "We have the manpower to get this done, but we only have three hours to finish the project. But if we work together, we can get it done.”

Junior center Connor Lewin, who just finished his Eagle Scout project, agrees that there is a lot of work to be done, but he believes they have the people to do it.

“We know this will be a lot of work, but the outcome will be nice to see,” he said. “This is the biggest difference we can make for this school, and if we can keep our people on task, there’s nothing we can’t overcome.”