MOLINE, Ill. — Jesse Estell has known Brad Hines for years. From playing together in high school to seeing Hines coach and run the Moline Jr. Maroons football program, Estell can see how much Hines does for youth sports across the community.
That's why Hines was nominated for the Pay It Forward award, sponsored by Ascentra Credit Union.
“It’s been great to watch him grow," Estell said. “He’s just a huge cheerleader for all youth sports in our area."
Hines volunteers countless hours to youth sports in Moline. He coaches, is on the board for the Moline Little League and helps run the Moline Jr. Maroons youth football program.
The Jr. Maroons was a program that was once falling through the cracks, but Hines helped turned the program around. He "made it so everyone knew it was available to them in the Quad Cities," Hines said. He added that sportsmanship was their "number one thing" to help turn the program around.
The effort behind the scenes has shown positive feedback as the team is growing every year. Last year, the program had 125 kids. Hines is hoping for 150 this year and eventually, to return to the numbers they had in the early 2000s, which was over 200 kids.
"We’re trying to get it back there. We’re gaining each year," Hines said.
He devotes all this time to youth sports because he hopes that kids today get the same experiences he had growing up. Hines played on the Jr. Maroons when he was younger and said "it was just a great experience" for him.
Watching the young athletes become successful both on and off the field is the best reward for Hines. He said it helps kids learn how to overcome adversity.
“I see the correlation to youth sports and when they get older," he said. "Gets you ready for that life experience."
Brad also would like to recognize the little league and youth football boards. "They’re tremendous, just a great group of people and the same way with a Moline Little League board. We all work so well together," he said.
See previous Pay It Forward award winners:
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