Tonawanda News — A number of Tonawanda High School football players grew up at the Tonawanda Boys and Girls Club on Franklin Street.
It’s where they threw and caught their first football, and Warriors coach Rob Gross knows just how important the athletic programs at the club are for the youth of Tonawanda.
That’s why Gross and his team have been volunteering twice a month since the end of the football season at the Boys and Girls Club, giving back to the community that has given all of them so much.
”I grew up in this building,” Gross said. “I grew up at the club and spent a lot of nights here, as did a lot of the guys on our team. To be a part of our football program, there is an expectation that you will give back to the community and this a great opportunity for our guys to do that.”
Three Warriors that are set to be seniors next season — Tim Barnard, Shane Guenot and Chris Mara — all attended the club when they were youngsters.
Guenot said volunteering his time at the club is a great opportunity to give back to a place that gave him so much as a child. He said the kids really enjoy the team drills that Gross has the players running in the gym.
Barnard remembers his time at the club as well, and said he can see the joy in the kids’ faces as the team helps them build their football skills.
”It’s real fun to come in,” he said. “It’s good to give back to the community. The kids are the next ones to come up, so we have to get them going early. To be role models to the younger guys, for us to get together as a team, is great for some of the other guys who grew up in this building.”