By Bob Grotz
Determination is what jumps out at you watching game tape of John Trainor, the diminutive Lower Merion linebacker.
Trainor is relentless rushing the passer, using every trick he has to slide through gaps and put quarterbacks on their backs. Imagine trying to twist away with one foot nailed to the floor. Trainor is the nail. But that’s only part of what Trainor brings to the table Thursday night for the West, also the Red team, that opposes the East (Blue) team in the 43rd Hero Bowl at Cardinal O’Hara (7:30 p.m.).
Trainor is a first responder. Should his emergency beeper go off, he’ll have to fight the urge to lose the helmet, jump into his car and get to the Merion Fire Co. of Ardmore to gear up for a fire rescue or whatever else is required.
Remember the mansion that exploded in Gladwyne a few months ago? The one you could hear in three states? Trainor rallied to the scene.
The 17-year-old senior is a volunteer fireman — and proud to be part of the game that benefits the Hero Scholarship Fund of Delaware County, Inc.
“You do get like a little adrenaline rush,” Trainor said. “Your heart starts pounding because you never know what to expect. A fire alarm can turn into something pretty big. The house that blew up in Gladwyne, it was just toward the end of wintertime and that really shocked me. I’d never experienced anything like that. There were no fatalities. Everyone was safe. It was a good outcome.
“I know how important this game is.”