YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The San Francisco 49ers’ road to the Super Bowl made a stop in Youngstown this season. Four months ago, the team spent a week in the Valley during an east coast road trip between Tampa Bay and Cincinnati.
“Yeah, it’s been good,” said cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. “We’re thankful for them opening up their facilities to us. It’s a great opportunity. Our owners are from here so we’re just out here enjoying the entire experience.”
“Handel’s ice cream. Yeah, good call,” said starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. “It’s close by the hotel, so yeah. But the Italian food. We had some Maso Colli. We went to the York family dinner and everything so they had it all set up with a great spread. So yeah, Youngstown has been nothing but a great time.”
But it wasn’t all play during the team’s stay. They were out in the community, making trips to a local elementary school and Easter Seals.
“I think it’s really important to teach kids at a young age because…kids can either be really sweet or really brutal,” said defensive end Solomon Thomas. “It’s important to teach them young to be inclusive, and make sure that no one’s alone and make sure they make everyone feel loved or be sweet or be kind to someone because being kind can go so far for anyone.”
“To just talk to these kids…this just means everything to them,” said offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill. “This is their day. It is the highlight of their week. It is just awesome to just put that spark in their eyes and just see them light up.”
“They don’t have to do any of this,” said local mom Rebecca McConnell-Levendosky. “They have taken time out of their busy days, and training schedules and their game schedules to come in and spend time with my son. That means the world to me.”
“It means a lot to me,” said wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. “Liam is a great kid. He has some great painting skills.”
Goodwin said he thinks the smile Liam put on his face was bigger than the one he put on Liam’s.
The San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl on February 2.