Two recent graduates are in Glassboro this week practicing for Thursday’s 22nd Annual Adam Taliaferro Foundation All-Star Classic.
Taliaferro, a current Gloucester County freeholder and attorney, was playing football for Penn State when he was paralyzed while making a tackle, ending his career. The foundation in his name benefits athletes with spinal cord injuries. Dominic Elly and Chris Kirby, CHS football players who graduated last week, were asked to play in this year’s game.
“When I found out, I was ecstatic, my parents were ecstatic, everybody was,” Elly said. “I just feel privileged. I couldn’t be any happier.”
The two athletes join dozens of others from around the state to participate in Thursday night’s game that acts as an awareness game and fundraiser for the foundation.
“We’re meeting a lot of new kids,” Elly said.
The young men are practicing three times a day to get ready for the big even. They are staying in dorms on campus at Rowan University.
“It’s a little different, trying to get the feel for everything,” Kirby said.
A lot of the coaches are saying, “One team, one purpose,” said Elly, which is a motto of Taliaferro’s foundation.
“It’s great to back into [playing],” Elly said. “I missed it a lot.”
Kirby said he feels “honored.”
“I’m just happy I can help raise money for the kids who get injured during the game of football,” he said.
The two athletes and good friends will be playing at the collegiate level this fall. Elly leaves Aug. 10 for Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. He's studying nursing. The next day, Kirby heads to Albright College in Reading, Pa. where he will study chemistry.