Adams High School
Oct. 25th, 2012
7:23 PM EDT, October 25, 2012
The South Bend Adams football team just clinched its first winning season since 1993.
Behind it all, are two twin brothers who get their inspiration from a very personal place.
"We knew how Adams football was, record-wise and how people look at them," says Kenan Boyd, a senior middle linebacker for the Eagles. "And we said 7th grade year, we're going to Adams and we're gonna change it."
And that's exactly what Kali and Kenan Boyd have done. They are this team's leaders. They are this team's captains.
Kenan the heart, and Kali the soul.
Their coach goes as far as to call them the foundation of his program.
"They've overcome a lot of adversity," Craig Redman says. "They've been through the good and bad times at Adams, became leaders on and off the field."
And they give the credit to a man most have never met.
"I feel like he's always pushing us," Kenan says. "And that's where that leadership comes from, is because of that drive. In the back of our mind is our dad."
And the lesson he taught them.
"You can't take a day for granted," Kali says. "You've gotta live to the fullest. And this day can be your last day."
The last day Kali and Kenan spent with their dad was Fathers Day. Four years ago.
"We were four or three years old when he got sick," Kali says.
"He got paralyzed from the neck down," Kenan adds.
Heshimu Boyd had Castleman's Disease, an extremely rare disorder. Kali and Kenan have no memory of him healthy. But a lot of other good ones.
"It was hard for him to play because his hands were always (clenched, but) he can play the video game," Kenan says. "And he'd beat us. And I was like, how are you beating us?"
"It doesn't make sense," Kali would always say.
But the disease was an opponent he couldn't beat. He lost his battle right before Kali and Kenan started high school. Right before, despite what everyone said, they joined the Adams football program.
"He was fighting for ten years," Kali says. "And I feel like, if he can fight, I can fight. So I just keep fighting every day. I look up and talk to him every day."
"I feel like he's always in the stands," Kenan says. "And I feel like he's always guiding us through the right way.
"I wish he was here though, to just see us play for real."
Heshimu Boyd never got to see his sons play football. But those who do, see his impact every time Adams celebrates another victory.
Copyright © 2013, WSBT-TV