On the eve of the biggest game of the year so far, the Wyandotte Roosevelt football team got some extra inspiration from a group of seven former players.
Wyandotte head coach Ron Adams invited Roosevelt graduates ranging from the classes of 1956 to 1997 to come and speak to his team.
The alumni took turns addressing the current Bears, who take on Oak Park Friday in the third round of the state playoffs in a battle for the regional title.
Scott Galeski, who is a 1982 graduate of Roosevelt, is currently a detective with the Wyandotte Police Department.
He told the teens of a time where he was ambushed and shot early in his law enforcement career. He said the resiliency he learned from playing on the gridiron helped him keep fighting that day, which ultimately saved his life.
“I got back up, I didn’t quit,” Galeski said. “That’s what football taught me.”
1997 graduate Ken Cameron talked to the players about the importance of brotherhood, as well being a good representative of the school and the community.
Eric Schilk, a 1996 graduate, discussed what the team’s success means to the younger football players in Wyandotte, as he has a son on the Wyandotte Indians freshman football team, which is headed to the Peanut Bowl Saturday.
Also speaking to the Bears was: Wally Merritt (1956), Ron Gullyas (1957), Dan Nagy (1959) and Rod Baker (1974)
This was the second consecutive season Adams has brought in a group of alumni to talk to the team right before a big game. Last year nine former players paid a visit to Roosevelt the night before the Bears took on Southgate Anderson for the district title, a game they later won by a score of 28-21.
Adams said the purpose of having the alumni visit was to help his players remember that that they are carrying on an overall proud tradition when they step on the field.
“I think it’s always important to understand the history of not just your football program, but your school and your community,” he said. “A lot of those things were communicated to our players tonight.”