As the Jon Mack Era begins at Crespi of Encino, the football program has already felt his unique stamp. Besides winning passing league tournaments and running rigorous practice sessions, Mack kept his players busy this summer with community action projects. These projects not only helped to build the camaraderie and character of the team, but also have helped Mack’s players understand their responsibilities to the community.
The first project of the summer not only set a new standard of community service for Crespi football, but also taught his players an important lesson in social justice. In June, Coach Mack traveled with his family and three Crespi football players to rebuild homes in Mexico, on a hillside just south of Tijuana. Their goal was to help some recently displaced refugees build a new home. Previously, they lived in a riverbed below the hillside, but after seasonal rains caused the riverbed to flood, the refugees were homeless. To aid them, the Mexican government granted the hillside above the riverbed as a plot for their new home. Along with the land, the refugees received four garage doors, drywall materials, and tarp for a roof.
His players quickly learned that the dwelling they were building was different than an American home because it had no running water, indoor plumbing, or utilities. The finished thirty-six by twelve-foot structure was built over a dirt lot and contained three rooms divided by the garage doors.
This experience taught many lessons to senior quarterback, Kenny Stenhouse. He knows the trip changed him. “I learned to be more responsible off the field and to appreciate everything in my life,” he said.
Kenny’s new perspective on life gave Coach Mack a special victory. As he continues to utilize innovative character development techniques for his players, there are sure to be many more special victories in the future for Crespi football.