SAYREVILLE – In wake of the recent negative publicity surrounding the Sayreville War Memorial High School football program, one student has made it her mission to shed a positive light on the program.
Kennedy MacFadyen, 17, a senior at the high school, has created a video that highlights some of the contributions the team has made to the community.
The Sayreville high school football team was thrust into the national spotlight last year when seven Sayreville players, aged 15 to 17, were criminally charged in connection with the alleged hazing and sexual assault of four teammates inside the high school locker room.
MacFadyen said she was very upset when the allegations surrounding her high school’s football program surfaced.
“I cried a little bit because it is sad, but we have to move on and recover,” she said.
MacFadyen created the video for an assignment in her Communication Arts Through Television class, taught by David Kaiserman.
Each student was charged with the task of creating different community oriented topics that are school related, Kaiserman said, adding that while he helped with some of the technical aspects of the video, the content and views are MacFadyen’s thoughts.
MacFadyen said she was originally going to do a documentary on the football season, but the season was cut short.
“I decided I wanted to show everyone that they’re good people and that they’ve done good things for Sayreville,” she said. “That’s what the video shows.”
MacFadyen took bits and pieces of her original video and made the new video, which was about four months in the making.
The video includes clips from football players, such as peer leader and football and baseball captain Daniel Rodriguez, 17, a senior at the high school.
“I thought it was a great idea when she asked me to be interviewed for her project because I felt like it can help change the view of the Sayreville football program and the Sayreville football team and shows what we do for the community,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said helping the Sandy victims left him with “such a good feeling.”
“I was a sophomore then,” he said. “It meant a lot helping people in need. Coach Najjar was always big on that. It was a great opportunity for us to help the community when it needed it most. I feel that not only as a football team, but as a person, you should always help others.”
Rodriguez said he hopes the video will shine a better light on the football program. He said he hopes viewers will come away with a new perspective on the team and “not stereotype the whole Sayreville football team and the whole Sayreville football program.”
Read the full story and watch the video at mycentraljersey.com