FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) — The Frankfort Football program is getting just the spark it desperately needs.
The Hot Dogs are winless in their last 16 games, but this past Tuesday was a huge victory for coach Byers and company.
It was something unexpected and something unimaginable.
"First of all I didn't believe it," said senior quarterback and running back Jack Wilkins.
"I just didn't believe it at all," said senior lineman Diego Nava.
"It was amazing," said head coach James Byers. "It was really cool."
A shout out from the sheriff is not something you expect.
In a video released by Riddell, Peyton Manning said, "Greetings Frankfort High School. Peyton Manning here."
Byers applied for the Riddell 2019 Smarter Football Program Grant and was chosen from 800 other schools around the county.
He said his wife proofread it and he submitted it after a few days of thoroughly filling it out.
"Congratulations on being named the 2019 Smarter Football Grant winner," said Manning in the congratulatory video.
Winning in any sense of the word is honestly what the Frankfort program needs right now.
"We came in with 16 guys on the team, but the number has grown," said Byers. "We came in with 68 on our roster right now."
Two seniors on the Hot Dogs' roster said this is the spark they need.
"It just an amazing thing to hear," said Wilkins. "He was a legend from Indianapolis. He played with them for a long time. It was just awesome to hear him even say Frankfort High School. Congratulations."
"I didn't really have a reaction to it, but later on in the day I'm like we really won this," said Nava.
The $10,000 Riddell Scholarship will be used for the Frankfort Hot Dogs football program. Meaning it will be able to run or pass the ball with more protection.
"We are going to buy 24 new helmets; the speed flex helmets which are some of the best on the market, and then 24 new Riddell kombine shoulder pads," said Byers.
Wilkins said he is more than happy for the money to be going toward safety.
"One hundred percent OK with that," said Wilkins. "Last year I actually came out for our sectional game because I tore like every ligament in our knee."
Nava agrees with his teammate.
"It's going to be better for future generations," said Nava. "After I graduate everyone is going to be much safer."