Maryland Chapter Touchdown Pledge Drive Saturday against UCF


MARYLAND TDPD 2017 GRAPHICThe Maryland Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, led by President Adam Greene, is counting on the Terrapins offense to put a few touchdowns on the board Saturday, September 23 for its 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive to support the rare disease community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

The leadership team of the Maryland Chapter and all the members of the 2017 Terrapins squad is asking fans to support their efforts when Maryland welcomes Central Florida to Maryland Stadium by making a pledge through the Maryland Chapter online Touchdown Pledge Drive site.

Fans can simply make a pledge for each touchdown the Terrapins score that day and they can follow along to see the impact they are helping the players make.

The proceeds from our 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Maryland Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

Maryland started tackling rare diseases in 2009 when it joined Uplifting Athletes. The student-athlete led chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of former Terrapins quarterback Boomer Esiason. His son, Gunnar, lives with the rare disease cystic fibrosis and his battle serves as the inspiration for Maryland to support the rare disease community.

Support the Maryland Chapter and its efforts to make a difference in the rare disease community by signing up for its Touchdown Pledge Drive today!

Weekly Update: Six teams get out of the gate strong with 2-0 starts


WEEK 2 UPDATE GRAPHICCongratulations to Penn State, Maryland, Clemson, Illinois, Washington and Saint Francis for starting the 2017 season 2-0.

Defending Big Ten Champion Penn State used a fast start and solid defense to hold off in-state rival Pittsburgh at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions defense, led by 12 tackles from safety Marcus Allen, came up with three turnovers, had five sacks and nine tackles for a loss in holding the Panthers to one touchdown.

Maryland’s offense has scored 50 or more points in both its victories over previously ranked Texas (51 points) and in the their home opener against Towson (63).

The Terps piled up nearly 400 yards on the ground led by Ty Johnson’s 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns on only five carries.

Meet University of Maryland Chapter President and kicker Adam Greene in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Defending National Champion Clemson used a spectacular defensive effort to subdue Auburn at Death Valley. The Tigers’ defense limited Auburn to six points and 117 total yards on 66 plays. The Clemson defense also registered 11 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss.

Illinois running back Mike Epstein rushed for 111 yards and the Fighting Illini defense held Western Kentucky to fewer than 250 yards to grab a 13-point victory and improve to 2-0.

Led by 259 yards and a couple touchdowns from QB Jake Browning, the Washington Huskies put up more than 500 yards of total offense in a cruise-control victory over Montana.

Saint Francis QB Bear Fenimore threw for nearly 300 yards and RB Jymere Jordan-Toney added 105 yards on the ground with a score to power the Red Flash to 2-0 with a convincing home victory.

Stony Brook used a pair of touchdowns 2 minutes apart in the fourth quarter to pull away from Rhode Island to notch its first victory of the season.

Led by an impressive outing from Uplifting Athletes Player of the Week Ryan Finley, NC State defeated Marshall in their home opener at Carter-Finley Stadium.

After a gut-wrenching loss to Tennessee in its opener, Georgia Tech rebounded to claim its first victory of the year over Jacksonville State on the strength of a 20-point third quarter and a strong Yellow Jackets defense.

Fordham defensive back Lawrence Menyah returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown with 1:29 to play to propel the Rams to a come-from-behind victory. Fordham scored the final 17 points after falling behind 31-21 midway through the third quarter.

 

 

2017 Beyond The Trophy: Meet Adam Greene from University of Maryland


ADAM GREENE 2

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

Name: Adam Greene

College: University of Maryland

Height, weight, class, position: 5-11, 193-pound senior place kicker

High School: Broadneck High School, Arnold Maryland

About Greene: This is the second season Greene is the starting place kicker for the Terrapins. … He made his first appearance for Maryland as a redshirt sophomore in 2015 in a relief effort and his first start was against Michigan State. … President of the Maryland Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, Vice President of Maryland’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. … 2017 AFCA Good Works Team nominee and Wuerffel Watch List nominee. … A three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten. … Two-time All-State selection in high school and holds the Maryland state field goal record with 27.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Greene: I will never forget my first home game I played in verses Wisconsin.  After an injury to our starter on the opening kickoff, I had to step in as our team’s field goal kicker. Within minutes I had my first college attempt, a 44-yard kick from the right hash. The feeling of making my first field goal and seeing the team’s reaction and support was unforgettable!  Our team rallied in the fourth quarter and started chipping away at Wisconsin’s lead.  We scored with 3 minutes left to bring it to within sevent points. I went in for the onside kick to give our team a chance to tie the game. It avoided all of Wisconsin’s players and bounced right into our returner’s hands and our unit ran to the end zone.  Unfortunately a flag was thrown calling it back but that was an incredible way to start my career two years ago!

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

Greene: I had always been heavily involved in the community through my church and adaptive athletics in high school. But when I came to Maryland I was in a communications class that had us watch various Ted Talks and I came across a video of a boy who was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder, Progeria, who talked about his philosophy towards a happy life. The video struck me and within the next week, an upperclassman mentioned Maryland’s involvement in Uplifting Athletes and tackling rare diseases. Since then I joined the cause and it has been incredible using the platform we have as athletes to use our talents and abilities for a purpose larger than football itself. This past year we tripled our Chapter’s fundraising and were able to bring nearly half the team to the National Institute of Health to visit and meet children diagnosed with rare diseases.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

Greene: Nothing beats running out of our tunnel with the flames and fireworks shooting around us to see a stadium supporting the team. It’s a feeling that never gets old and fires you up for the game.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Greene: My favorite NFL player is Matt Stover. When I was younger, Matt was an extremely influential role model for me. We met when I was 12 years old at one of his summer kicking camps where I competed and finished first amongst the kickers who attended. Since that day, he took me under his wing and crafted me into the kicker I am from my form, technique, and character. He was an example of a man of faith who performed and became one of the best kickers ever in the League and he has been there to help guide me along my college career.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Greene: Warren Buffett. Off the field I have been captivated by the field of finance and investing. Last December I graduated with a double major in Finance and Information Systems and I am currently completing a Masters in Quantitative Finance. It would be amazing to talk and learn from one of the most successful investors ever to hear his advice for my future career to come.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Greene: Wisconsin definitely tops the charts. Being in the Big Ten you experience some incredible football fans and atmospheres but when the stadium shook from “Jump Around” and the crowd got into the game it became my favorite.

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football or big goals for the future?

Greene: First and foremost is family as that is incredibly important to me. But it’s my goal to work on Wall Street after football and leverage what I have learned through sport and school in a career there. I would love to travel and experience new cultures and places. It’s been my dream to become a President or CEO of a company so there is a lot in store and I’m excited to continue my philanthropic endeavors and see where the future takes me.

RAPID FIRE

What is your perfect pizza?

Greene: Margherita

Last three songs you added to your playlist?

Greene: Boys of Fall – Kenny Chesney; Thunderstruck – AC/DC; 19’ Something – Mark Willis

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?
Greene: Taylor Swift

If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Greene: Jennifer Anniston

What was the last movie you went to the theater and saw?

Greene: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with my brother

In the mountains or on a beach?

Greene: On a beach

What’s the last picture you took with your phone?

Greene: Our freshman student section cheering and getting ready for game day

Weekly Chapter Update: ’16 Rare Disease Champion Jake Olson plays for USC Trojans


JAKE UA PHOTOUSC long snapper Jake Olson has fulfilled his dream of playing in a college football game.

The 2016 winner of the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award is now officially a USC Trojans football letterman after snapping for the final extra point in the Trojans’ season opening victory over Western Michigan.

“I just loved being out there,” Olson said. “It was an awesome feeling, something that I’ll remember forever.

Olson is legally blind after losing sight in both eyes to the rare disease retinoblastoma. He lost his left eye to the disease at 10 months.  The night before his final surgery in 2009 to take the sight in his right eye away, then USC head coach Pete Carroll invited Olson to meet the team.

“To take a situation that ugly, and then to fast-forward eight years and to have that same kid be able to snap on the football field with the team that really got him through that time, is just beautiful. It’s emotional. Incredible,” Olson said.

Carroll, the Seahawks head coach, was tipped off this might happen so he was watching on TV Saturday night when Olson entered the game.

“I was so excited to see it I couldn’t stop crying. It was thrilling,” Carroll told The Seattle Times. “That was an incredible moment. I’m so glad that coach (Clay) Helton figured out a way to create an opportunity for Jake to show what he could do. This is just an extraordinary young man.”

He was invited to join the Trojans squad after he enrolled at USC in the fall of 2015 and received an NCAA waiver to practice with the team. He snapped in the spring games, but it wasn’t until last Saturday that Olson saw the field in a regular season game.

Meet Stony Brook Chapter President and tight end P.J. Edwards in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

 In what is clearly the biggest win for the Maryland program this decade – and perhaps even longer.  The Terrapins marched into Austin a nearly three-touchdown underdog to No. 23 Texas and marched away with a 51-41 victory.

It was the first victory for Maryland against a ranked opponent on the road in nine years.

Maryland led 27-7 at one point in the second half, then held off a Longhorns rally that included Texas touchdowns on a blocked field goal return, a kickoff return and interception return for a score.

Running back Ty Johnson was a beast for the Terrapins, rushing for 132 yards, returning a kickoff 60 yards and scoring one touchdown. Wide receiver D.J. Moore had a big afternoon as well with seven catches for 133 yards and a score.

Illinois used a late touchdown from Mike Epstein and a blocked field goal as time expired to rally past Ball State at home.

Defending National Champion Clemson rolled up 665 yards of total offense on its way to a comfortable victory over Kent State at Death Valley. New starting QB threw for 236 yards on only 22 attempts.

Penn State, the defending Big Ten Champion, saw its dynamic trio of QB Trace McSorley, RB Saquon Barkley and TE Mike Gesicki each account for two touchdowns in blanking Akron. Barkley, a Heisman Trophy candidate, accounted for 256 total yards on 18 touches.

Notre Dame running backs Josh Adams and Dexter Williams, a 2017 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award finalist, combined for 285 yards and three touchdowns as the Fighting Irish subdued Temple. Adams earned Uplifting Athletes Player of the Week honors for his stellar effort.

Nebraska was embroiled in a nip-and-tuck affair with underrated Arkansas State all the way before holding on for a seven-point victory over the Red Wolves. Husker RB Trey Bryant rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries.

Washington, Syracuse and Northwestern all won their openers in different fashion. Northwestern needed a pair of 1-yard TD plunges by QB Clayton Thorson to rally past Nevada. Syracuse put up big numbers offensively in rolling Central Connecticut State and defending Pac-12 Champion Washington subdued Rutgers by outscoring the Scarlet Knights 20-7 in the second half.

Georgia Tech dropped a heartbreaker in double OT to Tennessee Monday night. And Stony Brook came up with a strong effort against nationally ranked USF on the road in Tampa before a late flurry allowed the Bulls to edge the Seawolves.

NEW CHAPTER SCOREBOARD

Seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders up for off-the-field awards in 2017


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Uplifting Athletes is proud to have seven college football student-athlete chapter leaders nominated for national off-the-field awards this year.

Five players are nominated for the AFCA Good Works Team and four are on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy.

Syracuse quarterback Zach Mahoney and kicker Adam Greene of Maryland made the grade on both lists.

Joining those two as nominees for the AFCA Good Works Team are center Nick Allegretti from Illinois, defensive lineman Kurt Holuba from Princeton and Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber.

Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has brought together a select group of college football players from across the country to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.

Uplifting Athletes has placed at least one player on the AFCA Good Works Team every year since 2012.

Joining Mahoney and Greene on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list are Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and Florida State center Alec Eberle.

The Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida.  Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Congratulations to these seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders for making the rare disease cause a priority and using the power of sport for social good.

 

 

It’s Touchdown Pledge Drive Season again!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the fourth consecutive year, our chapters will shine a spotlight on rare diseases by holding a Touchdown Pledge Drive (TDPD) game.

This year, the entire nationwide chapter network will play their TDPD game during the month of September.

The Touchdown Pledge Drive game is an excellent chance for each chapter to expose the rare disease cause to their college football fan base and bring another level of awareness and support to the rare disease community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

Please visit the Uplifting Athletes Touchdown Pledge Drive hub and choose your favorite team to support. Simply make a pledge towards the number of touchdowns your team scores that day and follow along to see the impact you are helping the players make.

Every dollar helps Uplifting Athletes and its chapter network tackle rare diseases.

The proceeds from Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017 support Uplifting Athletes and its commitment to leadership development, patient focused programs, rare disease awareness and rare disease research.

 

Summer Lift For Life: Ten events all focused on shining a spotlight on rare diseases


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before we wave goodbye to summer and usher in the college football season, let’s take a look back at a fast and furious six weeks that was the second phase of our 2017 Lift For Life season.

This summer featured a milestone Lift For Life, a road race that turned five years young and continues to grow, a Kids Combine where National Champions hang out, an inaugural Lift For Life at a history-rich institution and one chapter getting back on the rotation.

Ten events took place in July and early August with a singular focus: shining a spotlight on rare diseases and inspiring others with hope.

Our first stop is a milestone for Uplifting Athletes. Our charter chapter at Penn State held its 15th annual Lift For Life. The Nittany Lions moved indoors this year to Holuba Hall and focused on an offense vs. defense max bench press competition to add some spice for the players.

The work done behind the scenes by each chapter leadership team can be a driving force to measurable success. Maryland and Illinois held private Lift For Life events this year, yet it was clear each chapter was raising awareness and shining a spotlight on rare diseases. That speaks highly to the chapter leadership for the Illini and Terrapins.

For the fifth consecutive year the Nebraska Chapter hosted the Football Road Race that featured a 5K and 1-mile run. The event is strongly supported by the Lincoln Track Club, and this year the event saw a record number of online registrants.  More than 700 total runners came out on a Sunday morning to show that in the Cornhusker state, rare pediatric cancers matter.

Patience and perseverance paid off for the Notre Dame Chapter. After years of trying to get a Lift For Life up and running through all the proper channels, the 2017 leadership team finally cleared all the hurdles and the Fighting Irish not only did their Uplifting Experience annual bowling event, but got after it in the weight room on max leg presses to give their Lift For Life some competitive juice.

In true Defending National Champion-style, Clemson added the inaugural Kids Combine to their summer event schedule. This was in addition to the Tigers holding their annual Lift For Life.

Florida State’s players continue to champion the rare disease cause in support of coach Jimbo Fisher’s son Ethan and his battle with a rare blood disorder. This was the fourth year the Seminoles have used Lift For Life to put a cap on their summer workout season.

Syracuse continues to build its strong roots in support of the rare disease community. The Orange and their relationship with the Belfield family continue to be a source of inspiration, and once again rare disease patient Lillian and her family were part of Lift For Life.

For the third year in a row the NC State Chapter used a combination of individual and 7-on-7 drills as the highlights of the Wolfpack Lift For Life. Once again having their event open to the public was the key to spreading the word about rare diseases.

And the final Lift For Life event this summer featured an FCS chapter – Fordham – that last held an Uplifting Athletes event in 2014. The Rams put the pieces back together and made rare diseases a priority again in the Bronx.

On behalf of the rare disease community we serve, thanks to every chapter leader, college football student-athlete, donor, volunteer and university administrator who helped make Lift For Life 2017 possible.

Together … We Are … Stronger!