Stony Brook University Seawolves football players are not only tackling their opponents on the athletic field, they're also tackling childhood diseases. The players regularly visit young patients at Stony Brook Children's Hospital, to bring cheer to the kids and raise awareness of the needs of children dealing with rare diseases.
During October, the football team is raising funds for medical research, through the Touchdown Pledge challenge. Seawolves fans make a pledge for every touchdown the team scores. The players have set a goal of raising $2,000 this season. The Touchdown Pledge is an initiative of Uplifting Athletes, a national non-profit organization that uses the power of sport to give hope to the rare disease community, which has a student-run chapter at Stony Brook University.
The football players take turns visiting kids at Stony Brook Children's. Recently, Team Captain Shayne Lawless paid a visit, along with teammates Mason Zimmerman, Danny Liotine and Jordan Gowins. Fans call Liotine (from Medford) and Gowins (from Bellport) the Long Island Express, for their rushing skills. Each of them has rushed more than 100 yards three times this season. Lawless (from Moorestown, NJ) ranks third in the conference and leads the team in tackles. Zimmerman (from Whitehouse, Ohio) is starting Left Guard and helps anchor the defensive line.