TRIADELPHIA — There is a lot more to high school sports than wins and losses.
The opportunity to give back to the community is something that Wheeling Central head football coach Mike Young strongly encourages his players to do.
Nearly 30 Maroon Knight players and some 15 cheerleaders did just that Monday evening as they volunteered their time at the annual Miracle League Football Camp, which was held at the Highlands Sports Complex.
“This is just fantastic for all of the kids involved,” Young said as he surveyed the action on the indoor field at the facility. “This is a great opportunity for our kids to see just how fortunate they are because sometimes (high school) kids take things for granted, but you work an event like this and see the excitement and how they interact.”
During the course of the camp, which was open to basically all age groups and males and females, the campers learned basic fundamentals of the sport of football, including things such as taking a handoff, pass routes, blocking and passing.
“It’s really two-fold because our kids here are enjoying this and having as much fun as the kids with the Miracle League,” Young said.
“It’s an opportunity to give back, reach out and be a support for people, who in some ways have a disadvantage, but in some ways they’re blessed, too.”
Central student-athletes have also been involved with Miracle League camps in baseball and basketball, according to Young.
“We work with Lorraine McCardle and she’s the one who sends out all of the information and our kids are excited to help,” Young said.
Although it was voluntary for the Maroon Knight players to help with the camp, senior Paxton Marling was quick to commit to help when Young informed the players that the camp would be successful.
“It’s great to be able to come up here and show these guys a thing or two about football and see the enjoyment and fun they’re having while learning about the sport,” Marling said. “It feels great to be able to help with this. When I was growing up, people taught me how to play, so I am excited to get the chance to help other people learn how to play.”
Maroon Knight junior Hayden Mueller, who has been involved with Miracle League camps in the past, called the chance to help “a great opportunity.
“To be able to meet new people and help them learn about the (sport) we love, which is football,” Mueller explained. “It’s really nice to be able to give back and experience it with them.”