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Broomfield, football communities rally around Cole LaCrue

Family dealing with sudden passing of father from COVID-19 complications

Broomfield High School sophomore quarterback Cole Lacrue (18) looks to rush against Brighton High School on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)
Broomfield High School sophomore quarterback Cole Lacrue (18) looks to rush against Brighton High School on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Broomfield, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Staff Photographer)

BROOMFIELD – Instead of spending the past several weeks remembering his first football season at Broomfield, Cole LaCrue has been struggling to cope with the unexpected loss of his father.

On Nov. 29, Joe LaCrue, 46, passed away from COVID-19 complications. His unexpected death left his three sons – Cole, Ty and Zane – and his ex-wife Courtney Beghtol reeling from such an unforeseen and devastating blow.

But the LaCrue boys and their mother found out the very next day they were not alone, as the Broomfield football community began to reach out with its support.

“I’m new to the Broomfield community so with them all getting behind me, it means a lot,” Cole LaCrue said. “It’s tough right now. I lost my father and that’s something I’d wish on no one. But I’m blessed to be around a great group of coaches and teammates and they’ve done everything they can to help us.”

This is LaCrue’s first year at Broomfield after he spent his freshman year at Erie. But the sophomore quarterback, who helped lead the Eagles to the Class 4A state playoffs, realized quickly just how much he has been embraced by the Broomfield community.

Joe LaCrue carried the health insurance for his three sons, and that health insurance was terminated upon his death. In a show of financial support, the Broomfield football program and parents raised over $2,000 and delivered it to the family last week. Also in an effort to help supplement the loss of a provider for the LaCrue boys, a GoFundMe page entitled “LaCrue Boys Support Fund” has already raised over $17,000.

“Immediately, our parents reached out to me about putting together a fundraising effort on our own through the football program,” Broomfield football coach Blair Hubbard said. “We tried to rally around the family. Obviously, there’s been a lot of communication between Cole and myself, the other coaches and the players just sending words of positivity. We all just want to do whatever we can to help.”

Hubbard added that he has tried to spread the word on social media and has been surprised by how many coaches and other members of the football community, both locally and nationally, have chipped in. Others like private quarterback trainer Tim Jenkins and the youth football program Broomfield Blitz have done what they can to help Cole, as well as 14-year-old Ty and 9-year-old Zane.

“It was totally not solicited but everyone would not take no for an answer,” Beghtol said. “People dropped off money and gift cards for the boys and the Broomfield poms brought cookies. They all just wanted the boys to know that people had their backs. It’s almost overwhelming how much they’ve all just tried to put their arms around the boys and help them get through this.”

The financial support has made a big difference. For Cole, who during the global pandemic has played football for Broomfield but has scarcely been inside the school he now attends, his teammates reaching out to him has meant just as much.

“We found out his dad was sick the day before the Loveland game,” Broomfield wide receiver Josh Dunn said. “We were saying prayers for his family. When we heard the news, we just called him and tried to make sure everything was good with him. We’ve helped raise money for him and his family and have tried to just be there for him and make sure we can help as much as we can.”

Joe LaCrue was placed on a ventilator the night before Broomfield played Loveland in the first round of the state playoffs on Nov. 20. After one of his lungs collapsed, his kidneys began to fail and he did not recover. Keeping their distance once Joe tested positive, the last time the LaCrue boys saw their father was on Nov. 6, Cole’s 16th birthday.

Over the past month, the LaCrue family has experienced first-hand the tragedy COVID-19 can cause and they hope people continue to be safe in order to avoid more lost loved ones like theirs.

“This year’s been crazy and we just need to get through it,” Cole said. “People just need to take it seriously and do what they need so we can all get through this. If people still think it’s a hoax, they just need to look at my story. I just spent my birthday with my dad and three weeks later he was dead.”

Click here to donate to the “LaCrue Boys Support Fund.”