We're weeks away from the return of high school football and two Lafayette schools have a unique ace on the field.
At Lafayette and Northside High Schools, two Lafayette Police Officers are part of a new brotherhood, connecting with students and giving back.
Resource Officer Derrick Miles is volunteer coaching with LHS and Corporal Melvin Riddell is volunteering with Northside.
"We're not just police officers...we're your friends, your leaders, and also mentors," said Officer Miles.
Both officers played high school and college football. They say their love of the game and dedication to giveback are the reasons they're on the gridiron.
"I push them to be excellent and raise the standards," Cpl. Riddell said. "I always tell them to level up...raise boys to men."
The head coaches at both schools are seeing the impact the officers have on their athletes.
"If they're a great football player, but they can't act right, or they will not develop and contribute to society, then we failed them. To have him out here as a coach just really adds to us," said LHS Head Football Coach Rob Pool.
Northside Head Football Coach John Simmons said, "Especially when he's seeing kids out on the street. He'll play basketball with them and say hey we really need you at football practice. It's a blessing because he interacts with these kids and he's already into their lives."
Those lives are the main reason both men say they are doing this.
The officers hope to instill discipline, integrity and respect into the students they coach. They hope the students take what they learn on the field and apply it to life after football.
"When he talks, everyone just gets quiet cause everyone wants to hear what he has to say. He knows what he's talking about. I just want to learn from him and keep learning from him," said LHS football player Micah Williams.
Northside High football player Takyrian Isadore said, "It feels good because every day, he's pushing us and working us to the best of our ability. If he wasn't here, we wouldn't be how we is now."
Officer Miles said, "It's big for law enforcement to interact with the youth because they're the start."
Cpl. Riddell said, "They have some great kids here who are eager to learn and eager to get better."
The officers are volunteering on their own time and are typically available for practices and home games.
The Lafayette Police Department says if there is a scheduling conflict, the officers will discuss with their supervisors to adjust their schedules.