Working together is a quality that all teams must have in order to be successful. For the Newberry football program, that doesn’t stop when they step off the field. Last week more than two dozen players and coaches came together to assist another great team of people in our town – the Tahquamenon Area Senior Citizens.
There may not be another organization that does more for our community than the Senior Citizens and after a recent donation to the Newberry football program, it was time for the team to give back. In what has now become a yearly community service project, the team assisted with some heavy lifting and loading to help say thank you to the group. Past projects have included painting, cleaning up around the facility, maintenance of the parking lot, and more. “This is great for our program,” said Head Coach Joe Austin. “It’s not just about getting money for things we desperately need, but it gets these guys out in the community. They learn to appreciate those who support them. They learn to help others out who may be in need just like them. It brings us together as a group, and if it’s for a great cause that’s even better.”
Assistant Coaches Zach Clickner and Rudy Mendoza both joked that some of the guys on the team were having more fun and even working harder than they do at times in practice. “This is the fastest I’ve seen some of these guys move,” said Mendoza. “Everybody is here and working together, the guys are taking the lead on this thing, I wish we could bottle this up and take the energy and effort with us!”
Clickner stated that this is important in many ways for the team. “We can tell them they have to be here and it’s required, but you can see that when they actually get out here and help, they get excited. I couldn’t believe it but some of these kids actually like to work!” He said that giving back and continuing to help the community are key staples of the program. “We have always tried to give back. It’s tough times, but we have been able to do so much and get so much because people around town continue to be there to support us. That’s why we stress to these guys that it’s about more than just a football game. That’s why we hammer home the message that we have to be leaders in the classroom and the community. How we carry ourselves off the field is just as important as anything we do on it.”
The donation from the Tahquamenon Area Senior Citizens was for a total of $1,500. Mendoza said the funds will most likely assist with new helmets and uniforms that were recently purchased for the program. “We just got all new helmets for high school. Each kid who comes out has one. We still need to cover that cost and of course the uniforms. We didn’t have enough for each kid to play.”
Coach Clickner was very pleased with how the team came out and thanked the Tahquamenon Area Senior Citizens for all that they have done. “We always look forward to working with the Senior Citizens group,” he said. “They have been great to us and we always enjoy coming out for the projects.”