I'm not an advocate of arbitrarily retiring numbers. There should be something special about the person who gets honored. It's not about being a great player -- there are lots of those -- but there should be something special, everlasting.
That's why I feel good about Garden Grove's decision to hang up the No. 45 worn by Kevin Telles – who died after collapsing in the first game of the 2009 season, a 9-0 victory over Westminster.
The spirit of Telles moved his teammates to put together the school's greatest season since World War II, and his final words, “Let's finish this,” are worthy of the commitment necessary to succeed in all things, not just football. It's a fitting mantra for the Argonauts.
Five months after his death, it was revealed that Telles died from myocarditis – an inflammation of his heart muscle.
One year and one day after his death on Sept. 11, 2009, Garden Grove beat Westminster, 46-14, in the debut of new coach Willie Puga. Josh Webb scored four touchdowns, on a reception of 56 yards, runs of 20 and 73 yards, and a punt return of 75.
It was another night to remember in the Telles legacy.