LATHAM, NY- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) is proud to announce the Smithtown High School West (Section XI) football team as the winner of the Spring 2020 Community Service Challenge. Smithtown West was chosen as the winning school by the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is comprised of two current student-athletes from each of the 11 member sections.
Established in the fall of 2010, the program encourages students to stay active in their communities. For the past two years, NYSPHSAA has partnered with Team Up for Community to allow online submissions. The Team Up for Community portal provides schools the opportunity to showcase community service projects which ultimately fosters young peoples’ sense of civic engagement and community thus helping them achieve their educational, developmental and social goals.
Smithtown West football coach Ron Muscarella started a program called Football Feeds Front Liners to deliver meals to front line workers in local hospitals. His players shared information on social media, due the current social distancing mandates, they cannot go to hospitals to drop off food, or go out and fund raise. Football Feeds Front Liners was created in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the effect it is having on communities, the football team partnered with Sojak Events, a local production company, to organize the project. Donations are made to help purchase meals that allow Muscarella to bring breakfast or lunch to those who are putting their own lives on the line each day to help local families stay healthy and protected. So far, more than 400 meals, most recently delivering 50 meals to Long Island Community Hospital and over $3000 has been raised.
“Thank you for recognizing the Smithtown West football program, our great district, and community we are truly honored,” said Ron Muscarella, Smithtown West head football coach. “This movement of Football Feeds Front Liners was different than any other fundraiser I have ever done. Initially, the fundraiser was a challenge to other football programs in Suffolk County but it actually grew to other sports like Basketball, Cheerleading, and Kickline. It was great to see Suffolk County football and other athletic programs come together during a time when others were in need and to help as many healthcare heroes as we could.”
"Our new varsity football coach at Smithtown West, Ron Muscarella, came in wanting to establish himself as not only a very competent varsity football coach but as a role model, community conscious minded and student centered,” said Patrick Smith Coordinator of Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Nurses for Smithtown Central School District. “This project was certainly timely, necessary and rewarding to all involved. Ron has made a positive impact already with his players and the Smithtown community in the short period of time he has been with us."
Smithtown West will be presented a physical award and recognized for their accomplishments at later date, still to be determined.
A total of 22 projects were submitted with 771 student-athletes participating in some type of community service project. In total, $26,500 was raised for charitable causes. For the 2019-20 school year, 17,427 student-athletes participated in 439 community service projects across New York State. A total of 91,513 hours was volunteered and $329,444 was raised for charitable causes.
Previous Community Service Challenge Champions-
2020 – Fall, Ossining High School (Section I)
Winter, Cambridge Central School (Section 2)
Spring, Smithtown High School West (Section XI)
2019 – Winter, Harrison High School (Section I)
Fall, Canandaigua Academy (Section V)/Eastport South Manor (Section (XI)
Spring, Hewlett High School (Section VIII)
2018 –Farmingdale High School (Section VIII)
2017 – Akron High School (Section VI)
2016 – Mahopac High School (Section I)
2015 – Kings Park High School (Section XI)
2014 – Arlington High school (Section I)
2013 – Columbia High School (Section 2)
2012 – Ossining High School (Section I)
2011 – Adirondack Central School (Section III)