Below is a Q & A conducted by Pilgrim student-athlete Brett Taylor, speaking with Pilgrim Head Football Coach Blake Simpson. Taylor created a new social media platform named Community Champions ) …
Below is a Q & A conducted by Pilgrim student-athlete Brett Taylor, speaking with Pilgrim Head Football Coach Blake Simpson. Taylor created a new social media platform named Community Champions ) to highlight people in our community who inspire future generations and continue to make a positive impact both on and off the field.
Simpson is the first Community Champion chosen and was Taylor’s coach throughout his high school football career for the Patriots.
Here is their conversation:
BT: Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self?
BS: Looking back to my years at Pilgrim, the advice I would give my younger self would be to take my academics and athletic training more seriously. Academically I wasn’t the strongest and I did not use my time wisely or take advantage of the department nights my teachers offered. Playing multiple sports made it difficult to do any sport specific training because during the off season for one sport I was participating in another. But if I could go back I would make a plan and schedule my days and time more effectively to be a better student and athlete.
BT: Beyond your achievement in sports, what inspires you to give back to your community as well as encourage others to do the same?
BS: Having the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s day or even their life is what inspires me to give back to the community. Being a positive role model for the students and athletes I also get to work with is also part of the reason why I love being a coach. Showing the athletes first hand that we as a small community can make a large impact in the lives of many with our generosity and kindness. We have the ability to volunteer and help different organizations and charities, so why not take advantage of the opportunities and make a difference.
BT: You, as a coach and athlete, continue to be a positive influence on your players and encourage them to make a difference in their community. What are some examples of the contributions made?
BS: Over the years the Pilgrim football team has helped many different organizations and charities. We have participated in Good Night Lights for the children at Hasbro Hospital. Our athletes have volunteered to help pass out survival packs and clean tables at the Rhode Island Dream Center’s annual Thanksgiving dinner. We helped The imPossible Dream Playground with the foundation for their new wheelchair swing in 2019. Each year some of our athletes visit Oakland Beach Elementary to participate in Read Across America and read to their students. At the conclusion of Gloria Gemma Flames of Hope, the Pilgrim Football team helps breakdown chairs, tables, and staging. Each season at one of our home football games we have a clothing and food drive for House of Hope in memory of Pilgrim Football Alumni Jose Hutnak.
Follow Community Champions on Instagram @_community_champions
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