Andrew Rayner is listed as 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds. On Saturday, as part of a touchdown celebration competition, the junior offensive lineman did the worm. And then he did the reverse worm.
“It was very impressive for a big guy,” football coach Jay Civetti said. “He may have won the competition.”
The event wrapped up the Jumbos’ duties as hosts of a clinic for sixth-graders in conjunction with the Level the Field initiative. Junior field hockey player Rachel Gerhardt, Rayner, Civetti and junior Samantha Tye helped coordinate the event, at which 25 football players turned out to the Carzo Cage to run the kids through stretching and drills before taking them into the weight room and hosting the celebration competition.
“Our guys potentially had more fun than the kids did,” Civetti said. “We’ve got great kids in this program, and the more we can get them involved, the more they can continue to be mentors and leaders in the community, the better.”
As for whether Civetti saw any potential Jumbos among the sixth-graders?
“I didn’t want to break any NCAA recruiting rules, so I kept my distance,” he joked.
In the middle of a busy offseason, Tufts also spent two hours on March 3 working at the Open Center, a preschool in partnership with the Jumpstart program, an early childhood education organization.
Ten players, Civetti and his wife helped clean out a room and paint one of the preschoolers’ activity rooms. A few of the eight freshmen and two sophomores tried to sit in the miniature chairs, a “good stretching exercise,” according to Civetti.
The Jumbos were contacted two weeks ago by freshman Kelsey Howe, who asked them to help on a Saturday morning.
“It falls in line with being a champion in the community,” Civetti said. “They should be grateful for the opportunities they have here and at the same time be willing to help out, whatever the cause may be. It’s an eye-opening experience, and certainly it’s great to be able to lend a hand to others.”