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Lawrence High Football Surprises Residents with Kindness


Photo L-R: Gregg Zenerovitz, athletic director; football players Tolu Olajide, Diesel Barnes & Jalen Burks; Rob Radice


“Kind” probably is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about a football player. More likely descriptions might include tough, aggressive, physical, competitive, brave, and strong. Three Lawrence High School (LHS) varsity football team captains left those characteristics on the gridiron on Monday, November 16 and extended acts of kindness to people combating their own challenges.

On the 16th, LHS senior players Tolu Olajide, Diesel Barnes and Jalen Burks; head coach Rob Radice; and athletic director Gregg Zenerovitz surprised four Lawrence families impacted by breast cancer. The players delivered to each family: flowers, a “pink out” t-shirt, and a $200 gift card to Pennington Market for Thanksgiving dinner.

The visits with residents had quite an impact on the athletes:

·      Diesel Barnes - “Great experience. It showed me that life is bigger than football and that there’s nothing wrong with being a helping hand to people in need.” 

·      Jalen Burks - “It was an amazing experience beyond football. It showed me that everyone goes through tough times in their life and nobody’s life is perfect, and everyone can use a little help in their life when in need. There is nothing wrong with helping others, especially when you have the ability and desire to do so.”

·      Tolu Olajide – “The experience was definitely a life lesson taught and an eye-opening experience. It showed me that people always have it even harder than you. No matter what it is, just goes to show you how strong all of these families are. Each and every last family we visited all faced adversity and the way they are battling and overcoming all these difficulties is the amazing part. Overall, I’m just so glad and honored I was able to participate in such a great experience. It also hit closer to home because these were all families that live in our wonderful community.”

The football team and booster club raised funds for the gifts with the sale of “pink out” t-shirts last fall.


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