AMBLER >> It’s been a strange time for area football teams as they try and prepare for next season.
Position groups have been having online zoom meetings, coaches have been emailing out workout plans, and some players have gathered together in small groups, running patterns and throwing the ball around in each other’s backyards.
Amidst all the uncertainty, Wissahickon junior Michael Fath found it a perfect time to bring his team closer together and do something positive.
“What better way to do it than to help out people that are in need right now during this crazy time,” the rising senior said.
Under sunny skies, the Wissahickon football team and coach Bruce Fleming joined Community Cupboard on Saturday to collect food for the community during this coronavirus pandemic.
“A lot of people jumped on board right away,” Fath said. “It’s been great. We’ve had a great turnout so far and we expect more to come.”
Fath, a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder, who, on the football field, can open up not just holes but hallways, is also a standout in the classroom. The shutdown was rough in many ways, but he and his teammates are making it through.
“It was a little crazy at first. We had to stay home, self quarantine at first. For a few weeks, it was really crazy,” he said. “We’ve had team zoom calls to help put in our formations, start some of our plays, and just keep the guys together as much as possible. And this was an activity I thought of to start and build the team unity, try and get everyone together, working for a good cause.”
Added Fath: “Couldn’t have asked for a better day.”
Filling the Cupboard >> Community Cupboard is located at 150 North Main Street in Ambler and can be followed on Facebook and online at www.community-cupboard.org, and can be reached at (215) 628-3002.
“We have tons of community support coming in,” said Heather Maltin, a volunteer for 20 years.
Heather’s husband, Ron, is the board president, and both were on hand Saturday as teachers, football players and their parents, and others drove by and donated food.
“Everything’s going really well and the community has been amazing,” Heather Maltin said.
All players who came by to chip in received a “Community Food Blitz” tee shirt, colored blue and gold.
“It’s been great. Michael reached out to me and said ‘what can we do as a program to help out our community?’ So I said lemme check around and see what we can do,” Fleming said. “We thought about Mattie Dixon and Community Cupboard and said let’s reach out to them and see what we can do.
“We try to do community things as much as we can,” Fleming said. “It started last year. Even though this is not the ideal situation we wanna be in, we can still find a way to help out, bond together, and do it for a good cause. It was well worth it.”
Cars drove up at a nice, steady pace.
“It’s been a great turnout. Teachers at the high school made donations and then football players and parents made donations as well,” Fleming said.
There were whispers of there being a “next season.” Everyone’s keeping their fingers crossed.
“We do virtual meetings each week by position group to start to teach some of our offense and defense. My position coaches are doing the best they can. I send out four-day-a-week workouts that my guys can do on their own,” Fleming said. “And then there’s other guys in small groups who are going into each other’s back yards and running around, throwing the ball a little bit.”
“Next year will be a big year for us,” Fath said. “We’re gonna try and take a big step. We have a lot of rising seniors so we’re gonna try and get over that hump and make the playoffs.”