The Brown County High School football team had to turn donors away at the end of its blood drive July 29, after the Indiana Blood Center donation bus ran out of collection bags.

With 40 units donated, the team topped the 30 units needed to enter a drawing for $2,500 in athletics equipment, said Head Coach Randy Minniear.

The drive, part of the Indianapolis Colts’ Leadership Challenge, was about more than those incentives, though.

Sophomore Nolan Kelly said the team wanted to help with Indiana’s critical blood shortage and also wanted to do something for their community.

When senior Baylee Mosier heard that a single donation can save three lives, the importance of participating was obvious: “Why not donate blood, when you know it has that much of an impact on your community and in your state?” he said.

Mosier said leadership from the players on and off the field has become a theme emphasized by coaches and teammates.

“It’s one thing to be a good football player, but it’s another thing to be a good person,” he said. “I try to do the best that I can, and hopefully others learn from that too.”

Minniear beamed as he talked about his players and their motivation to make their community better.

“This is our Brown County football family, and they’re going to wear that with pride,” he said.

Ben Kibbey is a Brown County transplant from the cornfields of central Ohio. He covers county government, business, outdoors, sports and general news.