Nittany Lions lift for a charitable cause

Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien and his Nittany Lions. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien and his Nittany Lions. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Posted: July 14, 2013

Members of the Penn State football team participated in an intense workout on Friday evening with more on the line than preseason position battles.

Penn State's 11th annual Lift For Life pitted offensive players against the defense in a series of strength competitions benefiting the Kidney Cancer Association. Entering the competition, the Nittany Lions had raised more than $113,000 this year for cancer research, bringing the event's grand total raised to more than $800,000 since 2003.

"We've got to use Lift for Life as leverage to fight these terrible diseases and help out people that aren't as fortunate as we are and really give back to the community," said offensive lineman Eric Shrive, President of Penn State's Uplifting Athletes Chapter.

Players pushed and pulled sleds stacked with 45-pound weights, ran sprints with 100-pound sand bags over their shoulders and ended the event with a tug-of-war.

The defense prevailed but Shrive said the competition aspect is secondary to the event's cause.

Lift For Life was founded by former Penn State football players Scott Shirley, Dave Costlow and Damone Jones when Shirley's father had been diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2003. There are now 18 college football programs across the country participating in Lift For Life, each benefiting a different rare disease.

"When you roll up your sleeves and get into it, you realize how hard it is and why nobody else has done it," Shirley said of the fund-raising. "Every year I come back and I'm really blown away by the progress that has been made."


Mike Still can be reached

at mstill@philly.com. Follow him @MikeStill12 on Twitter.

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