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The Weiger Family Presents the Spirit of 76 Award


Friday, October 18th commemorated the life of a very special member of the Montini Catholic family.  Family, friends and fans paid tribute to former student, and football team member, Johnny Weiger, at their annual Charity Game benefiting the JAW Foundation.  The non-profit organization was founded by the Weiger Family to support Pediatric Adolescent Leukemia Support (PALS), and inspired by their son, former Montini student and football player, Johnny Weiger.  JAW volunteers devote their time to raising funds for families with children undergoing treatment for leukemia in the hopes of easing their financial burden. 

Bronco and Meteors (De La Salle Catholic High School) fans were given the opportunity to donate to this worthy cause by purchasing t-shirts, split-the-pot and raffle tickets before the game.  At the end of the evening, close to $4,000 was raised for the foundation.

In conjunction with the charity game and prior to the varsity kick-off, the Weiger Family presented their 7th Annual "Spirit of '76" Award in memory of Johnny to senior and team captain, Patrick Peters.  Last year's recipient, Frank Conforti III '19 joined Johnny's family on the field to present the award.

Johnny Weiger joined Montini Catholic's school community for the 2011-12 school year as a member of the Class of 2015.  He passed away on November 4, 2012.  Johnny's jersey number was 76.  As a tribute to their team mate, the team has worn special uniforms each year at what has been called the "Spirit of '76" game.   An enthusiastic crowd of Bronco and Meteor fans respectfully greeted the Weiger family as they walked onto the field to present the award.

In Johnathan's memory, the Weiger Family are inspired to present a special award each year to a unique  member of the varsity football team.   "My husband and I get to know the players during the year," said Johnny's mother, Fran Weiger.  "With help from staff and coaches, we choose the player who best embodies that of great character faith and sportsmanship."

"Throughout his battle with leukemia and TTP, Johnny displayed the spirit of a champion," said President Jim Segredo prior to the presentation. "He always showed great character, courage, fight and a deep commitment to his faith.  The "Spirit of '76" Award pays tribute to Johnny and the positive influence he has had on his teammates and peers."
"It's always such an amazing night, not only because we honor Johnny, but because we honor a student that, like Johnny, embodies great character faith and sportsmanship," said Johnny's mother, Fran.  "Along with that, we are always overwhelmed by the continued support by past and present Bronco families!"
Previously this season, Patrick also received the Bumber's Corner Locker honor - which was created in memory of another Montini alumnus, Brad Bumber '89 after he passed away in 2015.  "Patrick has emerged as a quiet leader, and a guy that all of the younger players in the program can look up to both on the field and off the field," said Head Coach Mike Bukovsky.  "He has earned utmost respect from their teammates and coaches alike, and, can always be counted on to think 'Team First.'"
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