BEN BOLT — There’s a certain level of respect among football coaches and programs, and among programs like Refugio and Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco — teams that are in the postseason year in and year out — that respect is heightened.

Add a hard-fought playoff match a year ago in the rain a day after Thanksgiving, and well, the admiration between the two is the stuff organized sports is about.

It’s that respect that gave some Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco football players the idea to collect money for a Refugio player who was seriously hurt in a Friday night football game earlier this season.

Refugio defensive back Casey Henderson fractured the C4 and C5 vertebrae in his neck in the Bobcats’ win against Edna in September. The high school junior has been hospitalized since then. Compounding the ordeal for the Henderson family is that they — like a lot of Refugio families — are also dealing with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Harvey in August.

After reading about Henderson, several Ben Bolt football players decided to gather donations for the Henderson family. They received help from the Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco booster club and from fans at the recent game between BB-PB and Poth. Altogether, some $1,500 was raised for Henderson and his family.

On Thursday, Badger coach Ray Ramos and those players drove to Refugio to give the program and Refugio coach Jason Herring the donation.

“We just have a lot of respect for Refugio,” Ramos said. “They have a program a lot like we want to be here in Ben Bolt.”

Ramos’ ties to Refugio’s Herring go back years. He knew Herring while playing high school football in West Texas. Ramos was playing in Ozone while Herring was an assistant coach in Sonora.

The Badgers met the Bobcats in the Class 2A state playoff last year. It was a tough game, which Ben Bolt was in for most of the way. Refugio ended up winning, 36-12.