De La Salle coach promotes fundraiser for paralyzed teen


Former De La Salle football head coach Bob Ladouceur penned a heartfelt letter Friday promoting an upcoming fundraiser for an East Bay youth paralyzed by head trauma.

Ladouceur paid tribute to Jake Javier of San Ramon Valley High, who was set to play football for Cal Poly before fracturing his neck at a graduation pool party in June 2016 and became paralyzed from the chest down. Ladouceur, who helmed De La Salle from 1979-2012 and remains an assistant coach, also wrote about the worry coaches and parents have in regards to head injuries while sharing his appreciation for Javier’s positive attitude.

“One of our own bright, talented, and promising students needs your help and involvement,” he wrote. “Since Jake’s injury, I couldn’t get him out of my mind, nor did I want to. I didn’t know how I could help. It wasn’t until I read an article about Jake (in a regional magazine) that I felt we could make a big difference in Jake’s future. I wanted to do it by mobilizing the East Bay football players and coaches — the people who knew him, competed against him, heard of him, and love him.”

A celebration of Javier is scheduled for Aug. 5 on the San Ramon Valley football field, where football players from several nearby schools will compete in a variety of games starting at 5 p.m. Students from San Ramon Valley, De La Salle, Monte Vista, California and Freedom high schools will be there to support Javier.

“It will be the first time these football teams will come together for a united cause,” wrote Ladouceur, an alum of San Ramon Valley. “We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than Jake Javier and his family. Please help us with this worthwhile project.”

Donations can be made to the Javi Strong Foundation here.

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