November 14 - The road to earning the Eagle Scout rank is long and rigorous, to the extent that only about 6 percent of all Boy Scouts annually achieve the honor.
Liam Brennan and Douglas Roach of the Springfield Sharks Varsity are almost at the end of their journey through the ranks of Boy Scouts. Both have met the requirements as they recently completed their Eagle Scout service projects and now await approval from a board review, the final step in attaining the Eagle Scout merit.
“The Eagle Scout badge is the top-tier badge you can earn in Boy Scouts. It’s the pinnacle,” Roach said.
“It’s all the work that you have put into all of your years of scouting and all the work you put in to take that last step,” Brennan said.
Brennan and Roach began their scouting careers at different times and with different troops. Brennan joined Troop 995 in the seventh grade, while Roach started as a Cub Scout in the first grade with Troop 1140.
Since joining, they both have earned at least 21 different merit badges and developed leadership skills that have translated on and off the field.
“He have a scout oath. It’s being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous and kind. All of those things I have been able to use on the field and to be a team leader,” Brennan said. “Everything just comes together and the things you learn from scouting transforms into your day-to-day life.”
“It’s really taught me how to lead my team to the best they can be, not only on the field but in the dugout,” Roach said. “Playing catcher, you are the general of the field and you are charge of all the plays. It’s really taught me how to organize what I'm going to call and how I am going to lead my team to be the best they can be.”
Inspired by natural disasters in Texas, Brennan devised a food drive to aid the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) for his Eagle project. Brennan and the Sharks’ coach Bill Amatucci spread the word of the food drive before their matchup with the Loudoun Aces on Nov. 4 and were able to collect over 40 pounds of food before the game.
Over the next three weeks, Brennan was able to gather over 800 pounds of food and fill nearly 44 crates for LCAC.
“I was very satisfied and impressed on the amount of food we got. I talked to the director of the LCAC and they were amazed about how much food that we collected. They always get donations but that was probably one of the biggest donations that have received so far.”
Roach fulfilled his Eagle project requirements by repainting the parking lot for his troop’s host church, Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Springfield. For two weekends, Roach organized a volunteer effort to paint over 220 lines and add much needed loading zones, fire lanes and handicap spots.
“The parking lot lines were in such disrepair and they really don’t have the budget to pay to paint the lines,” Roach said. “They also have a large number of elder folks that go to the church so we added additional handicap spots.”
With all of the merit badges and service projects behind them, the two prospective Eagle Scouts anticipate they will have their ceremonies in the spring after their board review. Once approved, Brennan and Roach will graduate into the elite and and earn the highest-ranking badge awarded by the Boy Scouts of America.
"Just want to thank everyone for all their support and what Coach Amatucci has done for me,” Brennan said. “The Aces, even though they didn’t know me, still wanted to help out which is really commendable.”
"It was nice to have a great group of core teammates and great coaches to support us,” Roach said.
LEFT: Douglas Roach, photo by Brian Roach; RIGHT: Liam Brennan, photo by Marty Brennan