PDT Staff Writer
Trevon Pendleton is in the middle of living his dream, playing for Division I football powerhouse Michigan State University. But it didn’t stop him from taking a rare weekend off and coming to Portsmouth to present a football signed by all the members of the Spartans football team, to the parents of Boston Schwamberger, diagnosed with an inoperable tumor on his brain stem.
“I heard about him a little over three weeks ago, the night before the Wisconsin game,” Pendleton said. “I was reading about it on the Internet, and I just looked into his story, and it really hit home. Having my family affected by cancer before, I know the adversities a family goes through. And I can imagine what he (Boston) has gone through, to wake up and face that everyday, he is truly a role model to everyone around here.”
The family began to notice on the telecast of the game that Pendleton was wearing a piece of tape reading - “Battling for Boston,” on his jersey. Joe Schwamberger, Boston’s father, sent a message on Facebook to Trevon.
“The family noticed that and they don’t even know each other,” family friend Mike Dillow said. “Fifteen minutes MSU beat Wisconsin, Joe sent a message to Trevon. Trevon messaged Joe back, and said - ‘I was thinking about your son.’”
Dillow contacted Pendleton and Pendleton asked if he could meet the Schwamberger family.
“I said, ‘I can hook that up for you,’” Dillow said.
After being introduced by Dale King of PSKC, Dillow then introduced Pendleton to the Schwambergers, and Pendleton unveiled the fully-signed football to them.
“The players all asked me what it (Battling for Boston) meant. I told them the story,” Pendleton said. “So the last few weeks everyone has asked me how he is doing, how everything is going, and keeping tabs on him, so when I came up with this idea and talked to Mike Dillow about doing this, it was really no trouble getting everyone to sign it. Everyone was more than willing to sign it. Everyone was coming up to me wanting to sign it, and coach (Mike Dantonio) was more than happy to sign it, and he sent a little message to him. Everyone just came together and did it.”
Boston’s parents were surprised by the presentation, as a part of the Battling for Boston day of competition and fundraiser.
“Oh my gosh, I was surprised. We were so surprised to even hear from him, and when we saw him with Battling for Boston, that really meant a lot,” Ashley Schwamberger, Boston’s mother, said. “It’s amazing. It’s overwhelming. And it makes us speechless.”
Joe Schwamberger agreed.
“It’s an honor really,” Joe Schwamberger said. “I’m almost speechless. “He’s a good guy.”
The event featured hundreds of people competing in everything from deadlifts to cornhole and everything in between, as well as inflatables for the children, a silent auction, raffles, the sale of T-shirts, wristbands, and more, with all proceeds to go to the family to help defray expenses.
People following Big 10 football began noticing three weeks ago that Pendleton, a walk-on, had become a regular at fullback for the team and was getting a lot of playing time.
“It’s pretty special,” Pendleton said. “It’s a dream come true to be honest. It’s early in my career, and I’m taking advantage of every opportunity, and just trying to make it the best I can and just keep myself on the field and hopefully be out there for the next few years so it’s pretty special.”
Pendleton, a Portsmouth West graduate, was rated among the nation’s top fullbacks by Rivals.com, ranked No. 3. He was a three-time all-state, all-area, all-county and all-district selection. Pendleton earned Associated Press Division IV All-Ohio first team honors as a linebacker in 2010 after recording 78 tackles in just seven games for the Senators. He was named AP All-Southeast District Player of the Year as a senior.
He suffered a season-ending broken leg with four games left in the season. Pendleton walked on at MSU, and now is seeing regular action.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org