Air Forces Hart displays his heart on and off the field
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Air Forces Hart displays his heart on and off the field

By the very definition of "military academy student-athlete," an Air Force football player’s time is arranged for him.

Air Force senior fullback Broam Hart's schedule is one of two listed on the weekly Air Force Game Notes as an example of how the Falcons have a full day from 6:20 a.m. wakeup call to lights out at midnight.

Hart often seeks ways to re-arrange his schedule to find free time for volunteer work, but as a senior football player there is an upcoming spring event that will have him following the agenda presented to him to the letter. Hart is not missing his chance to meet President Obama when Air Force’s seniors are honored at the White House for winning the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy with victories over their two service academy rivals, Army and Navy.

“That’s a pretty cool deal to meet the President and shake his hand,” Hart said. “To represent the academy at the White House is an awesome opportunity.”

Although President Obama annually meets with the winners of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, only seniors make the trip. Thus, Hart was not with the Falcons when they last won the trophy in 2011 his freshman season.

“We have the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back where it belongs,” Hart said.

This week Hart has had less free time than a year ago as a result of Air Force bouncing back from a 2-10 season to earn a 2014 bowl bid. Air Force (9-3) faces Western Michigan (8-4) of the Mid-American Conference Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Boise State’s Albertson’s Stadium.

Otherwise, Hart, a 6-foot, 220-pounder from Alvarado, Tx., uses his free time to benefit others. He was nominated for the“Good Works Team” sponsored by Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association. Players are recognized for areas of volunteerism and leadership.

When most people seek a moment to relax, Hart finds a way to satisfy his restless nature.

“It’s not easy with our schedule, but I want to help my community with whatever free time I have,” he said. “Sometimes I try to bring people with me. I was raised in a Christian home and that’s my duty to help people out. It’s a priority for me. If you can make time, anybody can do it."

Hart has served as a preacher at West Mansfield Church in his hometown and volunteers to teach Sunday school at Pikes Peak Church in Colorado Springs. He’s also active in programs to feed the homeless, reading to students at schools and participated in producing an Air Force Academy video: Cadet-Athletes against Sexual Violence (CAASV).

However, there is one area where Hart’s time has been arranged that has disappointed him. That’s his playing time this season; sophomore fullbacks D.J. Johnson and Shayne Davern have taken over the role. Hart, who was second on the team in rushing as a junior with 113 carries for 469 yards and six touchdowns, has only carried the ball 31 times for 117 yards and one TD this year.

“It’s been frustrating, but I accepted I had to learn a new role on the team to be the best teammate I can be,” Hart said. “I’ve enjoyed being there for the younger guys. I try to make the most of my opportunities.”
He looks at his role as a teammate the same as his volunteerism.
“I don’t expect a reward; I’m just doing my duty as a Christian man,” he said. “Helping people out is my reward. That’s a fulfilling role.”

But as a star player or backup, this spring he experiences the ultimate reward for academy football seniors –a trip to the White House.

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Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom has also written for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego, Chargers.com, Rivals.com, and Gameday Central. He has won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003 and USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

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