MASSILLON, OH (WOIO) - A group of teenagers learned a lesson about the importance of sportsmanship.
It started when Massillon played Akron Firestone, and Camden Beasley saw that another player was playing in tennis shoes, not proper cleats. He went home and told his dad. Meanwhile, Libby Ginther's son told her the same thing.
“They came off the field that night and came home and talked to their parents, and basically said, those kids didn’t even have cleats on them, some of them,” said Ginther. “The shoes that they were wearing were duct-taped together, their shoes were duct taped together. And basically said, what can we do about this?”
What they did was start a GoFundMe, and rally the rest of the Massillon team members and their families to spread the word and pitched in.
Together, they raised enough for 6,000 cleats.
Akron Firestone was out of school Friday, but we reached out to them for a response.
“While our players are responsible for their own shoe purchases--and we have extra shoes for emergencies--APS greatly appreciates the generous donations from the Massillon Washington High football family, from Fully Equipped and our own employee Pam Murphy. Because of this, a few Firestone players now have an extra pair of football shoes,” said Athletic Director Joseph Vassalotti in a statement.
Meanwhile, Camden Beasley and his Massillon teammates are glad, too. They're excited to meet on the football field again, but this time, on more equal footing.
I'm gonna feel great that we have cleats," he said. "They have cleats. It's an even matchup and we can just get this game started."
Libby Ginther said she's surprised by all the attention the donation is getting, but she says it's a good way to show the spirit of the community.
"We're very much known as a crazy football town, which we are, but we're also a very tight-knit community," she said. "We're a family."
The GoFundMe page is still active, raising money for weight room equipment and other supplies for the Akron Firestone team. You can donate here.