Photo courtesy of Alan Marvin

Make Your Week: Kindness in high school football and treats for all

By Jen Riess, KSL.com | Posted - Sep 25th, 2019 @ 9:05pm



SALT LAKE CITY — Fall is finally here, regardless of what the local forecast says. Stores are filled with harvest foods, "thankful" slapped on every piece of home decor imaginable and pumpkin-flavored everything. It's the most "basic" time of the year.

The KSL.com "Make Your Week" column features uplifting stories sent in from people outside the newsroom.

In this edition, local students are going beyond basic this season in their efforts to help others. High school football players put their differences aside to cheer up a fallen player. Also, a local Girl Scout finds a way to include her friends who can't always enjoy Halloween treats.

To share the stories that have made your day better, email them, preferably in 100 words or less, to jriess@ksl.com. Photos and videos are encouraged. Stories may be edited for clarity.

When high school football is bigger than high school football

"Friday night lights is a memorable time for high schoolers, especially seniors who play football," said Alan with Maple Mountain High School. "On one of these nights a few weeks ago Payson High School was playing Maple Mountain High School. As if just the game was not big enough, this was Payson homecoming game. Sometime during the game, a young man on Payson was injured. After taking a minute he felt like he could continue to play, not knowing the extent of the injury in his body.

"The next day this young man from Payson went on his homecoming day activity, still sore from the night before. But as the day went on the pain got worse. It was then he and his friends realized something was truly wrong. Parents were called and he was rushed to the hospital. He had sustained an injury that caused severe internal bleeding. The x-ray showed the blood in his abdomen. With an 80% chance of needing surgery this young man laid on the bed not knowing what tomorrow would bring.

"Through the grapevine, Maple Mountains coach and a few players heard about this young man's situations. In a meeting with team captains and a few other seniors, they decided to go visit this young man in the hospital. Maple Mountain's head coach scheduled a time for his players to meet this man from Payson, who just a few nights ago was the foe. As the Maple Mountain players on their own accord visited this young man with their coach, lines of rivalry schools were shattered. Friendship, respect, and concern for another competitor was bigger than high school football.

"In moments like this we all can follow the example of these young men and realize that no matter the difference, team, appearance, or ideas there is a lot in common if we can look for the good. I salute these young men who reached out to a fellow high school player who for the next 5 months of his senior year will be completely different than what his plans would be. Thank you, Maple Mountain football players, for showing us that there are things bigger than Friday night lights on the football field."

Treats for all

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"A 10-year-old local Girl Scout, Athena Watkins, saw a need in her community," said Mesha. "She noticed her peers with food allergies and sensory processing issues were not able to enjoy their favorite holiday the same way she was.

"She rallied her community and organized a special non-food trick-or-treat, with stickers, trinkets and vouchers, so that all children could enjoy the same fun Halloween experience as she does."

The Halloween event will be on October 19th at The Unitarian Universal Church of Ogden from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"50% of local vendor proceeds will be donated to Food Allergy Research and Education," Mesha said.

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