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You always knew when it was a game day around the Ford home. Nate was up early, making breakfast, and yelling “GAME DAY, BABY!” Nate was a team enthusiast. He loved being part of a team. He loved contributing to a team. He loved the crowd, the cheering, and the camaraderie. Winning was the goal, but leaving everything you had on the field was the most important part of “GAME DAY, BABY!”

Baseball was his favorite sport. He was hitting plastic balls with a giant plastic baseball bat before he could even walk. But Nate loved all sports. Most kids watched early morning cartoons when they were kids. Not Nate, he watched ESPN highlight reels all day long. At 6 years old he would debrief his father of all the highlights, trades, and injury reports as he made his way down the stairs and out the door to work. By the time Nate was 9 years old he knew player names, positions, and statistics better than most grown men. He went on to play a variety of sports including soccer, baseball, basketball and football. Whatever it was, he loved being on a team and in a competitive situation.

Nate was fiercely loyal. Loyalty was one of his core values. He was loyal to himself, his faith, his family, his friends, his school, and his teams. Growing up in Ramona, California he was a Bulldog through and through. One of the hardest changes Nate made after moving to Maricopa, Arizona was leaving Bulldog Country to become a Ram. But his personal values required it.

Most of Nate’s wardrobe was black and red, Rams colors. He wore his letterman’s jacket in 100+ degree weather because he was proud of being part of the varsity baseball team and the Maricopa High School Rams. He wanted to share his passion for sports and his loyalty to his school with the next generation of Maricopa athletes. Nate wanted them to be excited about becoming a Maricopa Ram.

Maricopa Game Day is an opportunity for high school athletes to share their passion for sports with children ages 5 to 12 while inspiring the next generation of local superstars. Stay tuned for the launch of maricopagameday.com in the Spring of 2016.