Wayne Hills football coach Wayne Demikoff thought that the past few weeks of turbulence in his team’s program could best be attributed to his players by remembering what the holiday season is all about.
“Yes, it got hectic for us,” said Demikoff. “But in the end, a lot of people supported us through the process. And what we want our players to always know is that helping others, in need, will go a long way in their own lives. This is a high school football team, and our kids work hard.
“But there are people out there, living their lives and struggling. If we, as a team and representing our community, can step up and provide smiles and a nice meal to some needy people, especially this time of year, it’s a great feeling. And I think it meant a great deal to our kids.”
The team donated 25 turkeys to the Father English Community Center, which is located at 435 Main Street, in Paterson.
Carlos Roldan, the Pantry Director at the Center, was on hand to receive the turkeys. The players also helped to load them onto Roldan’s van.
Wayne Hills is preparing for the semifinal round of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4 tournament on Nov. 26, when the top-seeded Patriots play host to fourth seeded West Morris Central, at 1 p.m.
“It’s a busy week, especially with Thanksgiving, but we’ll get our practice time in,” said Demikoff.
The Patriots have done a lot to help others during the fall. The team competed in a 5K race on Nov. 6 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, an event put together by neighboring rival Wayne Valley High’s dance team. (See related article. https://mikelamberti.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/wayne-hills-football-team-walks-for-st-judes-childrens-hospital-in-5k-event-at-wayne-valley-later-joined-for-group-photo-by-wayne-valley-dance-team/)
In October, the team took part in a Fun Run to help autistic children.
“It’s what we’re about,” said Demikoff. “There’s always time to help others, especially in our community. I’m proud to coach these kids. They mean the world to me.”