BOZEMAN — Montana State earned the No. 8 seed and a bye week in the 2021 FCS playoffs. Instead of choosing to use their time to relax, the team was out in the Gallatin Valley volunteering at different places around the community on Tuesday.
“It’s a great team bonding opportunity," said freshman quarterback Tommy Mellott. "I think that just kind of everything adds up and I think it’s just a great week, especially Thanksgiving, a lot of families might not be as fortunate as some of the people on the team. Obviously, we’d like to try and help however we can.”
A community that throws their support behind the program almost 24/7, it was the team’s way to give back, especially before the holiday. The players volunteered at the warming center, the food bank, the HRDC, stadium facilities and at Habitat for Humanity in Belgrade.
“These guys have given us everything we have," Mellott said. "From being at our games to supporting us everyday as a student athlete, it means a lot to us. We want to be able to give back and this is a great opportunity for us.”
The volunteers at the food bank were more than thankful to have the help of the players.
“It’s just such a boost of energy for our staff for sure and the other volunteers because we’ve been going at it pretty hard and the fact that they’re willing to volunteer and it’s important to the coach for them to volunteer in our community, it’s pretty cool that way,” said Jill Holder the food and nutrition director for the HRDC in Bozeman.
It also takes hours off of their time to have the players there helping. However, Mellott wants people to remember, the volunteers that are there everyday are the ones who deserve the recognition.
“These guys are the real heroes," he said. "They’re doing this every single day. They’re very altruistic and giving up a lot of their time for the greater good of the community.”