Newton teen helps buy letter jacket for friend, teammate

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – A group of people in Newton have come together to raise funds for a high school athlete’s letterman jacket.

Cyle Gautschi, 17, is one of Newton High School’s best athletes. When the junior’s not taking down his opponent on the wrestling mat, he’s tackling a man on the football field.

Gautschi’s friends said he’s fairly shy, but a powerhouse in sports.

“I think he’s more of a person that speaks by actions than talks,” said Gautschi’s friend and teammate Jesse Rose.

Rose said it was Gautschi’s actions several weeks ago that got him thinking.

“One night he was actually helping me move that wood stove and I got dirt on my sleeve and he was like, ‘Man, if I had one of those, I would not treat it like that,'” Rose said.

Rose said Gautschi was referring to his Newton High School letterman jacket.

“It made me turn around and pause and think because Cyle didn’t have a letterman’s jacket at the time,” Rose said.

Gautschi earned a letter in when he was a freshman, however he was never able to get a jacket to put it on.

“If anyone should have had it, he should have had it,” Rose said.

However, the black and gold jacket’s are not cheap. They cost upwards of $300. The school does not pay for them, it’s up to the athlete or the athlete’s family to purchase a jacket.

Rose said he wanted to buy a jacket for Gautschi, but he knew he couldn’t afford it on his own. He said he talked to his dad about the situation. He then got the Newton Police Department involved and the Harvey County Sheriff.

“I just thought, man, this kid, he’s does great things in athletics, has really done well in school and I just thought if any kid deserves a letter jacket out here, it’s Cyle,” said Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay.

Sheriff Gay is the former Newton High School resource officer and a school alum.

“I still have my letter jacket and I graduated high school is 1986. I still know right where it is, what closet it is in,” Gay said.

With the help of several other Newton police officers, Rose and Gay bought a personalized letterman jacket for Cyle and surprised him with it.

“It felt good. I mean, I didn’t know what he was going to do at first, then i showed up at 2 p.m. in the office and they had it for me,” said Cyle Gautschi.

Rose said he was so inspired by helping his friend, he and Newton High School have created a fund to help other athletes purchase their letter jackets. To help the cause, email Jesse Rose at jrose66035@student.usd373.org.