Molinari delivers a message

VIENNA – Student-athlete.

It’s the most overused term in college sports.

It’s also the most apt description of West Virginia University football player Michael Molinari, who was part of the Mountaineer contingent that appeared at Thursday night’s Steak and Burger Dinner at the Grand Pointe Conference Center.

Molinari enjoys attending the annual fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, which he has done for each of the past four years.The Parkersburg South graduate had enough confidence in himself to walk-on to the West Virginia University football program, even though the odds of any walk-on ever seeing playing time are slim. This fall, as he enters his senior season, he is entrenched both as the Mountaineers’ holder for field goals and extra points as well as performing kickoffs.

His success isn’t limited to just the football field. He also carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the classroom.

The secret to his success?

“It’s all about time management,” he shared.

Molinari said he changed his major from exercise physiology to sports management. He’s not sure what he will do once he graduates from WVU. He’s considering becoming a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Eventually, he would like to go into the sports industry, perhaps promoting sports. Molinari has participated in 38 games as a Mountaineer. He’s got to see much of America in doing so. But he never, ever forgets his roots.

“My parents taught me about hard work and dedication,” he said. “I tell the kids from the Boys and Girls Club they need to keep their grades up and make good decisions.”

Molinari doesn’t just expect excellence from himself. He also tries to spread it to those around him.

This fall, he’s going to challenge Mountaineer punter Nick O’Toole and kicker Josh Lambert for their positions. Not that he expects to beat them out. But he does know that if he pushes them, they will have to get better and that will help the team.

Molinari was part of a team of WVU athletes who attended Thursday’s dinner, which raised approximately $28,000 for the Boys & Girls Club. Community and business leaders turned out to show their support for the organization, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary on May 2.

Members of the Boys and Girls Club led the audience members in the Pledge of Allegiance. John Rockhold served as the master of ceremonies. Rockhold, Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell, and other members of city government had to excuse themselves for leaving early to attend a previously scheduled city council session.