ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — High school football is in full swing, which means student-athletes from all around western Pennsylvania are hitting the field every Friday night to play hard and win.
But one local player has a bigger goal in mind when he straps on the pads.READ MORE: COVID Surge At Butler Memorial Hospital Has Surgeons Prioritizing Elective Surgeries
Penn-Trafford senior Jack Jollie certainly makes an impact when he’s on the field. But at the end of the season, his impact might be felt more in his community than anywhere else thanks to a conversation he had in the offseason.
“Me and my dad were just sitting around thinking about projects,” Jollie said. “The idea of how we love our Penn Township Police officers and loving football came together and we merged the ideas into Tackles for the Vest.”
Tackles For The Vest is a website Jollie created to raise money to purchase bulletproof vests for the Penn Township Police Department. He’s asking people to donate $1 for every tackle he makes this season, and all proceeds go to purchasing those life-saving vests.
“That’s the type of kid he is though. He’s a community-type guy, a team-first type guy,” said Penn-Trafford football coach John Ruane. “This is something he’s passionate about, and anyone you talk to in this community has really bought into it.”READ MORE: MLB Owners Lock Out Players, Leading To First Work Stoppage Since 1995
“It’s a really great thing that’s going on,” Jollie said. “The community was very, very generous and what they’re doing is supporting me very heavily and it’s very nice knowing that it’s all going to the vests.”
“These vests are our lifesavers,” said Penn Township Police Chief John Otto. “We see it every day, unfortunately, that the men and women in blue and gray are getting shot and killed in the line of duty and these vests are a big part of what we are and how we’re able to do it.”
As a senior and team captain, Jollie is expected to provide leadership to his team, and he’s proud to expand that leadership beyond the football field.
“Not being a leader just on the football field, it could be in school, when you’re out on the street just walking around, just being a good example to people around you and people younger than you that look up to you,” Jollie said.
“He’s a leader on and off the field. And for him to be doing something like this, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Otto. “It’s very exciting. It’s very rewarding to see a kid from our community giving back as much as Jack Jollie is.”MORE NEWS: McDavid Puts Up Four Points, Penguins Lose To Oilers 5-2
So far this season, Jollie has about 50 tackles. If you’re interested in donating to his fundraiser, click here.