Fort D's team manager a mainstay on the sidelines

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- They say actions speak louder than words, but what may speak louder than actions is a simple smile.

On Fort Dorchester football Friday nights, the smile on Ryan Stafford's face can light up Bagwell Stadium.{}

"I run the balls in and other stuff, I give them water and stuff," said Stafford, who graduated Fort Dorchester in 2007.{}

He's a fixture, a mainstay -- he's truly a Patriot.{}

"If you cut him open, he'll bleed red and blue," said Fort Dorchester Head Coach Steve LaPrad.{} "Players around here are good to him and take him under their wings."

LaPrad doesn't know how Stafford started his tenure as a team manager; it was well before LaPrad got to Fort Dorchester over a decade ago. Stafford only knows that it started when he was a child. His father is the groundskeeper for the Patriots fields.{}

Always feeling an attachment to the players on the Patriots sidelines, when asked how cool it is for him to see a guy like Robert Quinn on the field in the NFL, Stafford replies quickly, "And Carlos (Dunlap). It's awesome!"{}

LaPrad sees the attachment he has with those players.{}

"He's very close with them, when those guys are back, no matter if it's a professional guy or just a guy that played here they will come and see him. They take care of him, he takes care of them as well," he said.{}

The beauty of this, Fort Dorchester has given Stafford a passion and Stafford is giving Fort Dorchester his all every Friday night in the fall.{}

"He'll be here when I'm gone," said LaPrad.{} "I hope he is. He is great for Fort Dorchester, he's great for our kids and we love him, man."{}