"You come as a team and leave as a family."
Wyandotte Roosevelt head football coach Ron Adams and student athlete Joseph Filipiak walked members of the Board of Education through the team's highly successful virtues program during a presentation at Tuesday's school board meeting.
For the virtue program, each player is assigned a mentoring coach. There are usually eight to 10 players per mentor. Adams explained that the players and coach meet during the week individually and as groups.
There are weekly virtue themes that are applied to the games.
Adams added that they really enforce the virtues on the players. The players receive text messages with virtue quotes. The quotes are also posted to Facebook and there are flyers in their lockers.
"It is significant and making a difference," Adams said.
Filipiak said the mentoring part of the virtue program is helpful to players.
"Mentors inspire us," he said. "There are 55 different kids on varsity this year. Sometimes we don't always get along. Sometimes kids on the team need that person they can confide in. They just need that person, that encouragement."
Adams discussed the overnight virtue camp that is held at the beginning of the season.
This year was the second annual virtue camp, which was designed by the team’s coaching staff to help the high school players continue developing strong personal character as they head into adulthood, as well as to bond with one other.
Adams told the board members about the four guest speakers at the virtue camp and how they each impacted the students.
Dr. David Wolf, a Trenton-based gynecologist; Wyandotte Police Chief Dan Grant; Jim Rockwell; and Wayne State University offensive line coach Terry Heffernan, who was a last-minute replacement for WSU head coach Paul Winters, all spoke to the players earlier this year.
Adams discussed other programs the students get involved with, such as community service.
"Virtue camp is definitely a very, very unique experience," Filipiak said. "How often do you get to come together for a whole day with team and coaches? The bonfire without a question is the most important part of virtue camp."
The bonfire is a time for the players to reflect, Adams said.
"You get to know your team and who you're going to spend your time with for the next several months," Filipiak added.
"You get to know those kids better and form that chemistry and those bonds. When you're on a team you have to trust the guys next to you. You come as a team and leave as a family."