60-year-old Suire enjoying football, life

Sanford Suire has advice for anyone who is in his or her middle years.

“If there is something you want to do,” said Suire, a native of Abbeville, “and you feel like you can still do it, just go and do it.”

Suire, who turned 60 in July, does not just dish out advice. No, that would not be fitting of a man who does not know the meaning of the word “inactive.” He lives and breathes his recommendation every Saturday on the football field. Suire dons shoulder pads and a helmet for the Vermilion Spartans.

“I saw the team was organized last year,” said Suire. “I felt like I could still play and I wanted to.

“I had that desire to play again.”

Suire is no stranger to athletics. He is a polished golfer and a veteran of the Senior Olympics. But Suire had not hit the gridiron since his high school days at Mount Carmel.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Suire. “I enjoy interacting with my teammates and the opponents, too.

“It’s just really been a lot of fun.”

The enjoyment has not come without hard work.

“I was not really used to the running,” said Suire. “I would run for the javelin and basketball during the Senior Olympics, but I would not run full-out sprints.”

The running has paid off, though.

“I have lost 15 pounds in six weeks,” said Suire.

Suire’s ability to stay in shape has helped the team as well.

“We have so few numbers,” said Suire of the team that hovers around 20 players for a game. “I have played every position expect quarterback.”

Suire lined up at guard, tackle, fullback and defensive tackle in the Spartans’ 15-0 win over Slidell Saturday.Suire’s effort has also served as motivation to his teammates, most of whom are a third his age.

“Some of the guys,” said Suire, “will tell each other, if he can do it, why can’t you.”

The word “can’t” is another that does not sit well with Suire. Without fear, Suire lines up on special teams, the part of the game he calls his favorite. He is a blocker on kick returns -- it is football at its most violent. Suire meets it head on.

“I am a pancake blocker,” said Suire. “In one of our games I made a couple of good blocks. One of the guys from the other team came up to me after and told me I made some great (plays).

“That made me feel good.”

“Feeling good” is not always the case for Suire after games.

“For the first few days after a game,” said Suire, “it feels like the Saturday after a high school football game.”

Those moments are becoming few and far between, though.

“We played Saturday,” said Suire, “and I feel fine.”

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