Cougars Use Extra Time To Do Good

With many of the Cougars staying in Provo for the weekend during this unexpected bye week, Coach Mendenhall and his staff have put forth the idea of using the extra time to do some community service.

Coach Mendenhall and his staff gathered together the team's leadership council to discuss opportunities for the team to do community service projects some time this week.

"You know, [Coach Mendenhall] does a really good job of allowing us to give back to the community," said wide receiver Michael Reed. "He does a great job in allowing us to show support to the community like they show support for us during the games."

One such way in which Coach Mendenhall tries to involve the community more with the team is by allowing young football players, fans or ailing children to attend practices on Thursdays.

"You know, each Thursday we have people come in that are heroes to us," said Reed. "Sometimes there will be little kids that are sick and so on. So for us to be able to do things like these community service projects is a way for us to go and do something for someone at their house like mow the grass, sweeping or vacuuming something. We're just going to do what we can to help the community as best we can."

BYU's Secretary of Football Operations Duane Busby had a list of service projects that each of the position groups could possibly choose from. Every player will gather together in their position's group to decide if they would like to participate in choosing a service project.

"So each of us as a position group will choose a service project on either Friday or Saturday," said Joe Semanoff. "It's going to be an optional thing and [Coach Mendenhall] isn't going to force us to do it. He asked all of us, and with me being a running back team captain, asked us to go back and ask our groups if we would serve, and we all agreed to do it. So all of us in our group are going to do it on Friday afternoon."

"It's always good when we as a team can go out and let the people out there know that we care for them as much as they care about us," said Reed. "Whatever it is, we'll be willing to do it."

Even though there may be a list of service project already gathered, it appears many of the players have yet to choose from the list or know what they'll be doing this weekend.

"Yeah, I don't know what it is yet," said Semanoff. "I have to go talk to Duane Busby and hopefully it's a good one and not going to be too hard."

"I don't know what the project is at this minute, but I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow," said Reed. "I'm sure it will be something fun and if it's something tough, so be it. We'll have the rest of the weekend to recover from it."

For his service project, there is one thing that Reed would personally like to do.

"You know, I would personally like to just get in the backyard with some kids and throw around the football," said Reed while chuckling. "I would rather do something like that than try and dredge the Provo River or something like that. I don't want to be around no water, but whatever it is, I'm sure it will be fun to give back to the people."

With the fires of California affecting his close friend and fellow teammate Markell Staffieri, BYU linebacker Kelly Poppinga talks about what his group wanted to do, among many other things, in this audio interview.

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