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Former Ute Steve Tate, Olympus Youth Football Visit Kearns Player Battling Cancer

(Photo courtesy of Steve Tate)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah safety Steve Tate is making an impact in the community and continues to help those familes that have children battling cancer.

Tate is the head coach of the Olympus youth football team in the scouts division, coaching 7-8 year-old kids. On Saturday, Olympus had a game against Kearns when Tate noticed the opposing team wearing gold ribbons on their socks.

“I have always told my players that we need to play for something greater than ourselves,” Tate told KSL Sports. “Great teams play for things greater than themselves and greater than football. We play for kids that can’t play football because of cancer. I showed up to the field on Saturday and noticed the kids on Kearns wearing gold ribbons on their socks. I immediately knew their community was impacted by childhood cancer. I later asked their coach some details and he told me that a boy on their team couldn’t play because of cancer.”

That’s when Tate’s son, Hayes “intervened.”

“This wasn’t coincidental…letting me know we needed to help them and support them,” Tate said.

Surprise Visit

Once hearing about Juel not being able to play football for Kearns, Tate and his Olympus players made a surprise visit to Juel’s house.

“His (Juel) family was in tears,” Tate mentioned. “It was obvious that they needed the support. So happy we could help them emotionally and financially.”

When the team ended their surprise visit to Juel, his mother sent a text to Tate.

“Our hearts are so full right now!!!” the text read. “God bless you all…Juel says mom they love, yes baby they do, (you’re) so strong they want (you) to keep being strong. WE ALL WANT U TO KEEP FIGHTING…He said he will keep fighting for him and Hayes. I can’t thank you guys enough!!!”

Hayes Tough Foundation

On March 12, 2015, the Tate family welcomed twins into the world. Heath, Reese and Hayes joined the Tate clan. On January 7, 2016, doctors discovered a tumor that took up 1/3 of Hayes’ brain. After receiving six rounds of an extremely high does of chemo and a stem cell transplant, Hayes went into remission for six months. In November 2016, Hayes’ cancer returned. On December 3, 2016, Hayes passed away surrounded by his family.

During the battle with cancer, Tate and his wife started the “Hayes Tough Foundation.” The foundation is dedicated to providing financial support and hope to families affected by childhood cancer. On top of supporting families, the foundation’s mission is to fund research for childhood cancer.

Playing football at a high level with the Utes and now coaching the game has taught Tate that there is much more important things in life.

“I love football,” Tate stated. “It has always been a huge part of my life, but I realized there is so much greater in life than football. The sooner kids can understand this, the better players they will be. Football is easy compared to what some kids their age are dealing with. I make sure my teams always understand that.”

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.