Most high school football players are focused on lifting weights and keeping in shape during the summer, with a fortunate few able to take part in 7-on-7 passing competitions or other organized team events. For players at Western Hills (Ohio) High, taking part in summer workouts necessitates something else that they just don't have: money for bus fare.
That's why Western Hills coach Paul Jenne -- pictured in the sweatshirt at right -- helped set his players up with the most common high school employer of all: McDonald's. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Jenne knew that his players would need money for bus fare and new football cleats for summer practices and workouts, so he helped put as many as a dozen players in jobs in the food service industry.
With summer jobs for the first time, the Western Hills players are gaining work experience and helping put away the money they need to help set them up for the 2011 season and school year.
One of the players who took advantage of the opportunities Jenne opened up was Aliou Diouf, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound lineman who is a likely Division I football player in the Class of 2012. Like some of his teammates, Diouf said he jumped at the chance to work at a local McDonald's when his coach said he had set up a job interview for him.
"It was a unique opportunity that we need to take a hold of," Diouf told the Enquirer.
With a number of positive performance reviews and a growing sense of accomplishment from the players working for the first time, the Western Hills athletic director and other officials have tipped their caps in Jenne's direction for his sense of ingenuity.
For his part, the coach said his players deserve credit for entering the workplace with such positive attitudes.
"You would have thought it was Christmas," Jenne said of what he heard of his players' reaction knowing they received the position.