Collin Grass’ football jersey is stitched with the number 27, the same number his father, Firefighter David Grass, Jr., EOW 7/8/09, wore when he claimed a football championship during his senior year of high school. Collin was only nine years old when his father died as a result of a stroke he had suffered while participating in a department-sponsored physical training session. Ten years later, Collin has taken home the MSHSAA Class 1 State Championship, has earned numerous running back and linebacker honors and completed his senior year at Valle Catholic High School on the High Honor Roll.

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During the 2019 season, the Valle Warriors gained their 15th State Championship title in the school’s history. Collin recalls the discipline it took to bring home the title, “I have played football for over 10 years, ultimately striving to win a State Championship before I graduated. Football has made me a better man and has helped me to grow. One of the major things it has taught me is that it takes a lot of hard work to achieve something great, and nothing is easy. I have also gained a brotherhood with all of my teammates who have created lifelong bonds that will never be forgotten.” The love for the game of football was passed on in the Grass family. Collin remembers his father watching and playing the game. “One of my father’s favorite things to do was to play and watch football. I know that he would
have loved to see me play, which gave me motivation.” They also share a passion for the same football team. “Another way that I honor him is to root for his favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys.”

Collin has been accepted into Southeast Missouri State University where he will be studying environmental biology. Collin’s academic trajectory directs him to a career in the environmental sciences in his hometown where he will follow his father’s footsteps. “I really want to live and work around Ste. Genevieve possibly working at Mississippi Lime Company like my dad.”

It is a privilege to see Collin beginning this new chapter with so many achievements already under his belt. Firefighter Grass of the Ste. Genevieve Fire Department was a hero that will never be forgotten, and we are honored to serve his family. Collin had this to say about BackStoppers, “One thing that I want people to know is that they are an amazing organization. They are a big help for people who have lost a loved one in the line of duty and have been huge for my family since losing my father.”

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