On Tuesday night safety Will Allen hosted a banquet for the Wilkinsburg High School football team. It wasn't to celebrate a championship season, but instead to celebrate championship individuals.
Wilkinsburg finished this season with a 1-8 record and only 16 players on the team. Most players had to be on the field for entire games, making it tough for them to be competitive. But they didn't quit, they didn't stop playing the game they love so much.
When Allen heard their story, he knew he had to do something.
"I heard about their perseverance and them sticking together," said Allen. "Their endurance through the face of adversity. That is what life is all about. Sports can teach us that and we can apply it to life and that is what those guys have done. They have stuck together and become a team in harsh environments. Some of the players are homeless. It's up to community leaders to stick by young people who do things right. I just wanted to do something to show I appreciate what they have done and to build on this step in their lives. I wanted them to understand the magnitude of what they did."
Allen originally heard the story about the team through social media, and the more he looked into it the more it touched him.
"It inspired me," said Allen. "This was an opportunity to commemorate their achievement of being strong minded and fighting through adversity. It means something. It inspired me to help people and want to impact them even more.
"Sports has helped us all get to where we are now and it's a great asset in our lives. We can apply a lot of lessons to life. It's a good avenue for youth to learn and achieve."