To the editor:
It's not always proper to brag about your own. I am going to make an exception to that rule. In the last few weeks, I have seen some incredible behavior by the students at Steubenville High School.
First, let me talk about the band. This may be the hardest-working organization around. One weekend, they had an away game, then a 7 p.m. performance at someone's house and then a noon performance the next day at my house. (I was a lucky drawing winner.) You would think by Day 3 they would have given half-effort and a lackluster performance. That was not the case. They marched from Harding School to my house, performed for an hour and marched back to Harding. They were fun, energetic and talented.
Then, just this week, they put on a great varsity show for two nights at the high school.
Again, fast-paced and enthusiastic to the end, Rick Hicks and his staff did a great job planning the show, and the kids did a great job executing the show. Memorable.
And then on Nov. 1, it was senior night for the football team and cheerleaders. The compassion and heart shown by the football team was heartwarming. The seniors all took turns pushing Matt Firm through the line made by the band. He needed to be pushed because he is in a wheelchair. They let him break the hoop and then raised Matt and his wheelchair onto their shoulders and carried Matt back to midfield. It was a sweet moment, made bittersweet because Matt's dad (and my brother) passed away and was not able to see it.
When the game ended, the team did not think it had made the playoffs. For some, this would be the last time in Harding Stadium as a player. They didn't think about that - they thought of Matt. So, the whole team got behind the wheelchair and drove Matt to the endzone for a "touchdown." The horse blew fire, the horn sounded and people cheered. Touching.
These students were taught this behavior at home, I am sure, but also by coach Reno Saccoccia. He has included Matt as a part of the team for years, and I am sure for years to come. The entire coaching staff has included Matt and let him be a part of something his body wouldn't let him do.
Coach Anthony Pierro maintained a watchful eye over Matt while the boys were carrying him and while he was on the sidelines. He is a good friend to Matt.
So, thank you, Reno, Anthony, Rick and every student at SHS. I am proud to wear red and black, to be an SHS alumna and a member of the Steubenville City School Board.
Ruth Anne Bruzzese