Last Saturday, Sept.14, the Oilers Men Soccer team faced Daemen College. After the thrilling victory against #7 Ohio Valley, Head Coach Andy Smyth was very happy but also acknowledged that he needed his players to keep the focus for the game.
“It’s easy to look ahead of yourself and think well, we just beat a nationally-ranked team, and forget about the next game. We’ll worry about Tiffin [their opponent after Daemen] next Wednesday, who’s another nationally ranked team. We could very easily to look past Daemen,” said Smyth.
The Oilers, in fact did not look past Daemen, beating them 5-0, getting four goals in the first half. So, while the game was relatively in hand for all of the game, it made the Oilers enjoy the other festivities during the game. UF partnered up with Children’s Mentoring Connection of Hancock Co. (CMC) to have a fundraiser. CMC is a mentoring program in Hancock Co., where people can help children who may need some help or guidance. Smyth has been helping CMC for quite some time and is happy to help.
“It’s a program [CMC] I’ve been involved with for a number of years and what we’re doing on Sat., is recognizing the organization. Our guys on the team will also make a donation, we ask all the players on the team to chip in a few bucks,” said Smyth.
Stacy Shaw, Executive Director at CMC, says that there are many activaties they offer to help the children ages 6-14 who need someone.
“We have a community program. With the community program, a mentor is matched one-to-one with a child and they go out and do different activities and things in the community. It could things like today’s event at the soccer field, could be going fishing, going to the movies. Really the main focus is to build that relationship with that child,” said Shaw.
At halftime of the game, UF presented a check to CMC for $1114, all from ticket sales and donations. Shaw is very thankful for the donation.
“We are very happy to have that [the donation]. It helps us provide programming and activities to the kids that we work with. We don’t charge any of our families for the kids to be a part of our program, so all of our funds that are able to support the agency are through donations, such as this,” said Shaw.
“We always try and tell the guys that were in a privileged position. Our guys are here studying, but they also get to play the game they love, and they get to represent the university. A lot of the times, you kinda take that for granted, “said Smyth. “So, I think it’s important to make sure that our guys are willing to give back.”