Terrelle Pryor gives $5,000 to regional-bound Jeannette midget football team
Season-ending surgery on his right ankle is preventing Terrelle Pryor from helping the Washington Redskins in their playoff push.
But the injury didn't prevent the 2008 Jeannette graduate from helping another football team.
Pryor was in Jeannette on Wednesday visiting Buster Clarkson Field, talking to the Jeannette 11- and 12-year-old midget team that was preparing for the National Youth Championship North Central Region this weekend at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
He talked to the players, coaches and league officials and then presented them with a $5,000 check to help pay for expenses.
Jeannette will play a team from Detroit at 2 p.m. Friday and then a team from Canton at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The team was invited after winning the Big East Youth Football Championship by defeating McKeesport, 28-14, to finish 10-0.
During the regular season, Jeannette beat Penn-Trafford (42-16), Plum (40-0), Franklin Regional 42-14), Woodland Hills (22-6), Gateway (43-12), McKeesport (38-8), Kiski (35-8) and Hempfield (2-0 forfeit).
In the playoffs, Jeannette defeated Kiski (44-26).
“I heard you guys are pretty good,” Pryor said, addressing the squad. “I'm counting on you guys, and I'll be checking on you guys. You guys better play hard for Coach Joe (Cononico) and all the coaches.”
Pryor is giving back to the community where he grew up.
“I'm just trying to give the kids an opportunity,” said Pryor, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Redskins in the offseason. “I heard they needed a little help financially, and it is easy for me to do.”
Pryor credited his marketing managers, Tyler Batts of Royalty Management and Bobby McRae of Twenty10Sports, for the idea.
“It's a good cause to help kids,” Pryor said. “I was in the same situation when I was young. I had the opportunity to bless people.”
Pryor isn't the only person helping.
The Steelers donated money and presented the team Terrible Towels on Thursday.
“It's amazing the support we've received,” Cononico said. “Terrelle, the Steelers, some local politicians and people within the community all helped out. They came through big time.
“We're excited, and I'm so pleased with the support we received. This is special for this group.”
This was Jeannette's first season in the Big East Youth Football Conference. The roster features 27 players.
“It was an amazing season,” Cononico said. “The offensive line was outstanding, and we had a lot of skilled players in the backfield.”
The linemen are Taishaun Jamison, Brandon Penn, Ryan Kimmel, Lonnie Greene and Brayon Crawford. Eli Binakonsky is the tight end. The running backs are Noah Sanders, Jaydin Canady and Amari Mack. Brad Birch is the quarterback.
“The offensive line is pretty special, and the backfield is good,” Cononico said. “We mix up well by running and throwing the ball.
“The defense has speed, and we have some hitters. We run the same defense that the high school runs.”
If Jeannette wins two games this weekend, they will qualify for the national championship tournament Dec. 15-17.