YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Eric Ungaro coached high school football for 30 years, from the city to the suburbs. He can relate to young athletes from all different backgrounds, and that’s why Chaney head football coach Chris Amill invited him to practice on Tuesday.
“You got a lot of support out there in the world. The world is at your finger tips right now,” says Ungaro addressing the football team on Tuesday. “The bottom line is we see character, and we see people, we ain’t here seeing color.”
Ungaro has spent the last nine years as a trustee in Poland township. He, along with fellow trustee Ed Kempers, is hoping to further the efforts of Coach Amill, to bridge the gap between their communities and drive home a simple message.
“I’ll speak frank because I think I can. To see a white male who is a trustee in a suburban community that came down here to talk about a little history of his family and helping kids and seeing them have a genuine relationship with their coaches, you know, there are a lot of good guys out there,” says Ungaro. “So if they take one thing away, that’s the message. The vast majority of our area are good people.”
“To be able to bring in somebody like Eric, you know it’s big,” says Chaney head coach Chris Amill. “Just to help them get that diversity and understand both sides of the fence because at the end of the day I want them to be successful. And if they’re successful and live in the city, fine. If they’re successful and decide to live in the suburbs, that’s fine too, but you have to be able to relate. You have to be able to get along and deal with everybody from different backgrounds and different cultures and different areas, and that’s my goal.”
“It’s a unique situation,” says Ungaro. “During this time, it’s just positive for them to see somebody up here like, ‘this isn’t a bad dude.”‘