High 5: How Student Athletes Are Tackling Suicide By Being Their Brothers’ Keepers

Oct 23, 2019, 10:52 AM

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – The weight room at Pleasant Grove High School is a place where strength is on display — both mentally and physically.

For the football team, lifting weights is intrinsic. However, it’s the weight you don’t see that these boys carry every day.

“It seems like every year a kid commits suicide, and that just sucks,” said student athlete and team captain Caleb Campbell.

In spring of 2019, that Pleasant Grove student was Kaden Tressler. He was new to the school and wanted to play football, but he felt like he didn’t quite fit in.

“It makes me feel personally that I could have done something,” Campbell said. “You feel a bit of guilt about it and it’s just heartbreaking.”

Not wanting another student to ever feel left out, Campbell had an idea. At the beginning of the season, he texted his team a scripture from the Old Testament. The idea was for each team member to be his brother’s keeper.

“There are 130 kids that play football,” he said. “It would make sense that there is a kid in every class, so if everyone would just look out for their classmates, then it would really help, I think, to make everyone feel more loved and included at our school.”

Head football coach Mark Wootton said it’s easy to take care of your teammates, but he saw Campbell wanted to do more.

“He wanted to take it to a different level,” he said, “and get the kids to be aware of the kids in their class if they see someone struggling.”

Campbell said his coaches and teammates embraced his “brother’s keeper” idea.

“I sit and watch people and see how they act,” said student athlete Matthew Smith. “When I see something off, I can tell and I’ll go up to them and say: ‘You OK? You need anything? I’ve got your back. I’m here for you.'”

Campbell also printed small “BK” stickers, and students have them on their phones and their car windows, as well as other prime locations.

“We would put it on the back of our helmets,” Campbell said. “That way everybody on our team would know we’ve got your back, and somebody has yours.”

His idea is not only bringing the Pleasant Grove High School student body together at a time when teens often struggle, but it’s also creating hope.

“It shows that there are young people that are so good and so strong,” Wootton said. “It gives me hope – and other people hope – that there are young people out there that are really, really amazing people.”

If you know of someone who’s making a different in the community, nominate them for a High 5 by emailing


If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Additional Crisis Hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
  • University Of Utah Crisis Interventional Crisis Line: 801-587-300

Online resources

In an emergency

  • Call 911
  • Go to the emergency room
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


The University of Arizona is waiving tuition and fees for undergraduate students enrolled in one of...
Harmeet Kaur, CNN

University of Arizona will waive college tuition for Native students in the state

The University of Arizona announced this week that it will soon waive tuition and fees for undergraduate students enrolled in one of the state's 22 federally recognized tribes.
22 hours ago
Baker-Berry Library on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S., on Friday, ...
Amir Vera and Melissa Alonso, CNN

Dartmouth College eliminates undergraduate student loans, replaces them with scholarship grants

Dartmouth College announced Tuesday it was eliminating student loans for undergraduates and replacing them with "expanded scholarship grants," the university said in a news release.
9 days ago
FILE: The U.S. Supreme Court is shown on April 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsc...
MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

High court rules religious schools can get Maine tuition aid

The Supreme Court has ruled that religious schools can’t be excluded from a Maine program that offers tuition aid for private education.
9 days ago
A Davis County School District getting ready for it's new lawn....
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Davis School District showcases their water saving efforts

Many Utahns are cutting their outdoor watering amid the drought. The Davis School District aims to cut their outdoor water use nearly in half.
15 days ago
Salt Lake Community College...
Madison Swenson, KSL TV

SLCC found to have violated Title IX, Section 504 following pregnancy discrimination investigation

The Salt Lake Community College was found Tuesday to have violated Title IX and Section 504 after the school allegedly encouraged a student to drop a course because she was pregnant, and did not provide her with academic adjustments or necessary services during her pregnancy.
15 days ago
Active shooter training is underway at Roy High School....
Dan Rascon, KSL TV

‘We are preparing for the worst’: Utah officers train for an active shooter in a school

Officers from five police agencies across the Wasatch Front are at Roy High School this week for some critical active shooter training.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
High 5: How Student Athletes Are Tackling Suicide By Being Their Brothers’ Keepers