TYNDALL-On the double!
Spend a few minutes around the Bon Homme football or track and field programs and you will hear team manager Trevor Pisano using that catchphrase to help motivate his classmates. Described by Cavalier athletes as a bundle of energy, Pisano never seems to have a bad day.
That has not always been the case, though.
Born with a developmental disorder that causes intellectual and cardiovascular deficiencies called Williams syndrome, Pisano hasn't been able to compete with his classmates. Bon Homme football and track coach Byron Pudwill brought Pisano into the fold to help create a sense of normalcy that has made him one of the guys.
"After they won the (Class 9AA football) championship, I went up to (Pudwill) and told him there wasn't enough thanks I could give him," Pisano's father Jim said, "for what he's meant to Trevor and the way he's included him in just about everything. It's really given Trevor a source of pride."
He has faced far greater adversities than those brought on by disability, however. Jim Pisano has always treated Trevor, his middle son, just like his two other sons.
But bullying problems at school resulted in a scar above Trevor's eye and the Pisano family moving from Iowa to Springfield. Then, six years ago, a car crash involving Trevor and younger brother, Justin, claimed their mother Brenda's life.
Through his relationship with the Bon Homme athletic teams, Pisano has escaped bullies and has received an outlet to help cope with the loss of his mother.
"You can see that he loves every single one of us, from head coach to player No. 30," Bon Homme senior Joey Slama said. "He's just another one of the brothers to us."
There aren't many students roaming the Bon Homme halls that don't know Pisano, and while his popularity has sky-rocketed, he has developed some particularly close relationships within the athletic department.
The bond created between Pisano and Pudwill stands at the top of the list. Pudwill treats Pisano as a member of his family. Pudwill has shared hundreds of car rides and meals throughout the years with a kid he has affectionately dubbed "T-Dog."
"I would usually give him a ride after practice," Pudwill said. "There would be volleyball in the fall and we'd go to the volleyball matches together. I coach junior high basketball and he was the manager, so he'd stay with me while I was doing the book (for the boys and girls varsity teams)."
Pisano has also developed a strong friendship with sophomore high jumper Mckenzie Carson that spans from the classroom to the track.
Carson uses her free period to visit Pisano in shop class nearly every day, and when he was selected to compete in the Special Olympics heat of the 100-meter dash at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 4, she was by his side to calm his nerves leading up to the race.
"Trevor and I just became really good friends," Carson said. "He just has a way of cheering me up every day."
With the help of Bon Homme special education teacher Cindy Anderson, Pisano was nominated to compete at one of the biggest track meets in the state.
For one day, roles reversed as Pisano experienced his Bon Homme teammates were able to yell, 'On the double!' while cheering him to a fifth-place finish.
"I don't think there could be a better reward," Pudwill said. "He's always been that guy on the sidelines and the dude never has a bad thing to say. What a platform to be on."
When the state track meet concludes on Saturday, so will Pisano's time at Bon Homme. After graduating, he will spend the next year working with his father in roof construction in order to learn to manage his finances and determine his future.
There is a chance he may return to assist with the Cavalier football team in the future, but no decisions have been made. If he doesn't, Bon Homme has left a long-lasting impression on the Pisano family.
"For the way they accepted Trevor, I can't ever thank them enough," Jim Pisano said. "I don't think the players will know what that means until they get older and have kids of their own."