BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—Community is a staple in Head Gov. Livingston Football Coach Daniel Guyton’s vocabulary. Preaching the importance of tradition, Guyton and his team set out to help the Berkeley Heights and Mountainside communities during their preseason—an annual practice instituted to teach the team dedication, commitment, and sense of community.
On August 19, the GL Football team made their third consecutive trip to the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. There, the squad watched a video on the hospital’s purpose and goals. After, the boys split up into groups and worked to clean up the playground and wash the hospital’s cars.
The seniors have used the opportunity to give back and learn selflessness. In their efforts, they have shown devotion and enthusiasm—forming bonds with their teammates as well as ties to the Children’s Specialized Hospital.
Senior Ben Collins is grateful for the experiences he’s had while visiting the hospital, and has pride in what the team has seen and accomplished throughout the past four years.
“I believe the Children’s Specialized Hospital visit is important to the team and me because we see how lucky we are to be able to play sports and how much we take for granted,” Collins said, “I love going to the hospital because after each time I go, I feel that I did something good for someone else. I’m glad that Coach Guyton does this event each year because it makes us closer as a team and lets us help others.”
Doug Anderson, another senior of the GL squad, feels the opportunity is a chance to gain a new perspective and remind the players of what’s important.
“It was a great experience to help the hospital, it makes you realize how lucky we are just to even be able to play football and it really gives you a good perspective on things when you see what the kids go through,” Anderson said, “It just felt good to give back to the hospital and the kids because they need it more than we do.”
The team didn't stop there. On Saturday, August 27, the boys made their way to downtown Berkeley Heights with another community-based service project in mind.
Last year, the Highlander Football team assisted in passing out posters for the Berkeley Heights Memorial Park Renewal Committee prior to its renovation. Twelve months later, the players came back to Town Hall, ready to help the committee once again. The squad walked around Berkeley Heights, handing out flyers for the Second Annual Mayor's Trophy Charity Softball Game between the Fire and Police Departments, scheduled for Saturday, September 10, at 4:30 PM at Snyder Field.
Chairman of the Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park Committee, Ted Romankow, is thankful for all the team has done in support of the Veterans Memorial Park and the Berkeley Heights community.
"I am so happy that the GL football team and coaches are taking an active role in promoting community events to raise money for the Veterans Memorial," Romankow said, "Their actions demonstrate their support and patriotism for all veterans, past and present."
Through these projects, Coach Guyton hopes to reinforce perspective--teaching the team to focus on what's really important.
"It's always great when we have the opportunity to give back to the community; It gives us perspective," Guyton said, "This is the most important thing we do all year. We have to grow together, not only as a team, but as a part of the community."