July 14, 2024
“We’ve let them know that we’re here for them for anything,” one Mountain View player said.

MOUNTAIN VIEW — No one would blame the Mountain View High School football team if it chose not to play its home game Friday against Live Oak.

The Spartans will be on the field, though, a week after an unthinkable tragedy rocked their program and ignited an outpouring of community support.

They will play in honor of Lucinda Daniels, who collapsed with a brain injury while tending to her injured son, running back and defensive end Dillon, during a game against The King’s Academy last weekend and is on life support. She is not expected to survive.

“We’re talking about putting stickers with her initials on our helmets, and with Dillon’s number on it,” said Alex Bocchieri, a senior middle linebacker on the team. “We’re gonna carry this loss with us through the rest of the season, and it’s going to be on our minds.”

A GoFundMe fundraiser for the Daniels family had received over 1,000 donations totaling $109,000 as of Wednesday afternoon, more than double the original goal of $50,000.

TKA contributed to the fund, and both TKA and Live Oak have sent the link to their communities.

As for going ahead with Friday’s game against Live Oak in the wake of Lucinda’s condition, the Mountain View community believes playing the game is what the mother of four would want.

“To miss a football game is something she would never even consider,” Mountain View football parent Ally Bocchieri, who helped organize the fundraiser, said Tuesday. “I’ve gone many ways on this in the last 48 hours. But I agree that it’s the right thing for the kids, and it’s the right thing for Dillon’s family.”

Added Mountain View coach Tim Lugo, “The family wants us to play.”

Live Oak is following Mountain View’s lead.

“We are doing whatever Coach Lugo wants us to do,” Live Oak coach Mike Gemo said. “We are being supportive of his program and the young men and families dealing with this terrible tragedy.” 

Dillon Daniels suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle just before halftime in a 48-34 victory over TKA on Friday in Sunnyvale. The senior is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday.

Dillon’s brother, Brandon, is a freshman on Mountain View’s JV team.

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Diego Ortega-Gerow, one of Dillon’s closest friends on the team, said everyone is rallying around the Daniels family.

“We’ve let them know that we’re here for them for anything,” Ortega-Gerow said. “We’re trying to pick up our brother during a really tough time.

“It’s our mission,” he said with a pause, “to get done what we need to get done for her and for Dillon. Just ball out for Dillon … and just playing in memory of her.”