Mustangs rally behind teammate’s family in need

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Mike Wertman – When a fire destroyed the apartment house in which Medina football player Jalin Cooper and his family lived last week his Mustang teammates quickly organized a fund-raiser to help the family. Cooper (45), center, is shown here with Mustang varsity players Ben McPherson and Jason Hellwig at left and JV team captains Trent Cotriss, Jake Cotter and Tyler Valley at right.

Learning to face and cope with adversity is an important lesson to be learned by competing in sports.

Over the last three games Medina varsity football players have had to deal with some on field adversity in the form of a narrow one point setback and two blow out losses.

However, this past week the Mustang players, varsity and JV alike, got a real life lesson in having to deal with adversity when the apartment house in which one of their fellow players family lived was destroyed by fire.

And respond they did, the Mustang varsity and JV players quickly put together a fund-raising effort and with matching funds given by the coaching the staff, the effort raised some $1,800 for the family of JV player Jalin Cooper, who is one of six children in his family..

“The kids just did a fantastic job and they did it a drop of a hat,” said Medina varsity coach Eric Valley. “The kids really stepped up and really came through. I’m very proud of them.”

The quick fund-raising effort made it possible for the purchase of a number of needed items including a new range, dryer, bunk beds and clothes.

“The kids helped move the stuff in on Saturday morning before the JV game,” Valley said. “We wanted them to help as well as to just donate. They stepped away from football for a minute and saw what a real life situation is like and they just really came through.”

“I’m really proud of the kids and the family is very appreciative,” said Medina JV coach Gordy Luthart.