Steve Pusterla of Wayne Hills seemingly has it all.
A senior and captain of the highly successful football team, Pusterla has a championship ring from the 2011 season and a ton of ambition for the future, which for him, begins now as the 2013 gridiron campaign approaches.
Even a broken collarbone, suffered during a non-contact drill on Aug. 7, has provided a minor road block for his plans to excel this fall for the Patriots.
But when Pusterla and a group of his senior teammates made a recent visit to the Wayne PAL as part of the program’s community service, he made a friend in Adam, a young man full of energy and enthusiasm, who is a huge Wayne Hills football fan.
The Patriot players visited the PAL and played games with the youngsters there, some of whom are autistic, while others may have handicaps, but embrace life with a huge smile and tremendously positive attitude.
The children’s zest for life clearly affected the Patriots, and Pusterla was one of those who thrived on the need to give back.
“I had just met Adam, but man, that kid is something,” Pusterla said. “It felt great to give back, to put a smile on some of those kids’ faces and make them feel happy. Adam wants to come to some of our home games and hopefully, he can join us on the sidelines for a game.”
Among the other Wayne Hills players at the PAL were team captains Justin DeGroat, James Kelly and Erik Martinez.
Wayne Hills head coach Wayne Demikoff was ecstatic with the event and hopes the team will return to the PAL and work with the kids during the season.
“It’s what we’re all about,” Demikoff said. “Our players have the opportunity to play football and enjoy the high school experience. Not all kids have that, and it’s important for them to understand that their contributions to young people will not only make the kids feel good, but will give them a sense of accomplishment and pride, as well.”