Editor’s note:  “Inside the Grande” is a weekly Wednesday feature in which we peer inside the inner workings of the Grande Sports Academy. We take a peek behind the curtains and discuss various topics about the off the field success at the GSA. To see previous “Inside the Grande” features click here.

Grande Sports Academy - Lowe, Rashirai, Knox, Leme, Villegas, Ferguson, Herrera, Yrizar, Nino, Gayton, Novick, Waldrep, OrtonCASA GRANDE, Ariz. – With all the residents at the Grande Sports Academy on spring break this week, the residential staff has kept the student-athletes busy with a handful of off-the-field activities.

On Wednesday morning, twelve GSA players volunteered at Oasis Pavilion Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’s Spring Carnival. On Thursday morning, thirteen student-athletes visited the Pinal County Animal Care and Control whose mission is to provide rabies control, enforcement, protection, education, and adoption services to Pinal County residents so they can live in a community that promotes responsible pet ownership and is protected from diseased and aggressive domestic animals.

Officer Trey Pickett spoke to the student-athletes for 20 minutes about a variety of topics that covered dogs, reptiles and other mammals that live in the desert. Pickett then walked the thirteen players through and facility and showed them all the dogs they have in their care. At the end of Pickett’s presentation, the players had an opportunity to play with a few dogs in the Pinal County Animal Care and Control’s playground.

“It was really nice going there today and seeing all the dogs,” said Gui Leme. “I’m looking forward to going back there to volunteer and to work with the dogs.”

Student attendees: Conor Orton, Evan Waldrep, Luke Novick, Jack Gayton, Dillon Nino, Pato Yrizar, Christian Herrera, D.J. Villegas, Adam Ferguson, Gui Leme, Alex Knox, Judah Rashirai and Terrell Lowe.

“Today’s orientation was a great first step in our efforts to do more community service projects with the local humane society,” said Lauren Crum, Director of Academic and Personal Development at the Grande Sports Academy. “The animal control officers provided our student-athletes with great information and we are looking forward to assisting the shelter this summer.”

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