Coach Damon Baldwin’s teams are known for their ability to run the football. Baldwin finds a gifted back or two and has them run behind a bruising offensive line.
On Sunday, April 15, Baldwin’s team will be walking or running or biking, but not to win a football game. They have a friend they want to honor. On April 15, the Bulldog football team will be Team Curran for one day.
Curran Valverde is a 4-year-old Ramona resident who was born with epilepsy. His family has supported him all the way.
“We have been participating in Sharon’s Ride, Run, Walk since Curran was diagnosed with epilepsy,” said Darlene Scott, Curran’s grandmother. “Not every member of our family could walk every year. Curran’s dad, Ryan, has been deployed to Kuwait and the Philippines (he is in the Navy), and one year one of the brothers had a basketball game, but we have all walked at one time or another for the last five years. Last year when Ryan was deployed we sent him a shirt and he ran 5K in the Philippines at the same time that we walked here.”
The walkers have included Curran’s dad, mom Kris, brother Aiden, grandparents Darlene and Mark and uncles Trevor and Wyatt.
This year the family has approximately 70 new members.
“We were discussing epilepsy in our class and somehow it came up that Wyatt Scott has a nephew that has epilepsy,” said Baldwin. “One thing led to another and Wyatt mentioned that he walks in a yearly walk that is coming up. I said that if anybody was interested in walking in the walk that they should let me know. I could not believe the response that I got. We invited Curran to our class and we all fell in love with the kid and his smile. He is one of us.
“This community gives generously to our program and we like to give back. The team raised money in our lift-a-thon with the support of the community so we are giving back.“
so we are giving back.“
Baldwin paid the entrance fees for the walk and had Team Curran T-shirts made. If you would like to join Team Curran, go to www.epilepsysandiego.org.
Sharon’s Ride, Run, Walk is the largest epilepsy awareness event in the United States. The 15-mile Family Fun Bike Ride starts at 8:45 a.m. at DeAnza Cove in Mission Bay. The 5K run and walk starts at 9:30 a.m. There will be a picnic, beach party, music, entertainment and prizes, a giant inflatable jumper, and several of your favorite characters will be on hand. You might see Spiderman, Dora, and Sponge Bob. All proceeds benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego.
“It was a very touching moment when we took Curran to meet the Bulldogs at the weight room,” said Scott. “Christian Drews came up to Curran’s father, Ryan, and introduced himself and shook hands and said, ‘I am walking in honor of your son.’ That is when we understood what Bulldog football is really all about.”