spare time — not that he has a lot of it — he likes to research athletic programs of high schools in Arizona.
One trend the teenager noticed during his digging was schools that educate near lower-income neighborhoods tend not to do too well in athletics.
"Most of these athletes don't play youth sports and the reason is they can't afford equipment," Siegel said.
That's the main reason why Siegel started the non-profit organization Arizona Sports Donations in summer 2017. Siegel, who is a junior at Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
, collects football and baseball equipment and donates it to youth organizations and teams around the state.
"I just want to give as much equipment as I can to help the inner-city kids, help the kids who really need it the most," Siegel said.
Donating his time and giving to those less fortunate than himself are a few things that make Siegel stand out. Pretty impressive for a kid who was just 15 years old when he thought up and followed through on starting a non-profit organization.
"He's got a really giving, kind heart," Saguaro varsity football coach Jason Mohns said. "He's found ways to get involved. … He's an entrepreneurial spirit, but everything he does is in the best interest of other people."
Siegel decided collecting football and baseball equipment would be best for his organization because those are the two sports he competes in at Saguaro.
Siegel, 17, is in his first year on the varsity football team after putting in his dues at the junior varsity level a season ago. He starts on all four special teams units and is the backup middle linebacker in his team's 4-3 defensive scheme. Being the second-string linebacker might not sound impressive, but considering Saguaro's three starting linebackers are all NCAA FBS commits, Seigel is facing stiff competition on his own team.
"He hasn't accepted being the backup, which I appreciate," Mohns said. "He's showing up every day to compete. He's trying to beat those guys out."
Playing with and against athletes who will be playing collegiately at the FBS level next year has really upped Seigel's game.
"I can go against those guys every day and that's just one of the things that makes me well-rounded and makes me better and it's something I enjoy," Siegel said. "I enjoy going up against good competition rather than an average program where I'd beat the starter and such."
Mohns figures Siegel gets into games for about 12-15 plays, depending on when starting Mike linebacker Hogan Hatten needs a breather or it's time for a special defensive package. Siegel doesn't waste his opportunities when he gets playing time.
"When he's gone on the field there hasn't been much of a drop off at all, if at all," Mohns said. "He makes plays, he's physical. I think the biggest thing for him is when you don't get all of the reps in practice, then it's hard to step in and take control of it and I think he's done a really good job of that. Even though he's not getting the majority of reps in practice, when he gets in there, he's not afraid to step up and take charge, make calls and be a leader."
Siegel plays on one of the top teams in Arizona. Second-seeded Saguaro (10-1) plays in the Conference 4A state quarterfinals against Cactus on Friday.
Siegel, who is 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, has a been a major asset on the Sabercats. Through seven games, he has 28 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. Mohns calls him a physical, competitive kid.
"He's kind of a throwback, tough dude," Mohns said. "He plays football with an edge and has a little nasty in him. For as nice and as involved as he is in the community off the field, he can flip that switch."
When he isn't getting defensive reps, Siegel is concentrating on making a difference on the special teams units. It's not a glamorous role, but it's extremely important.
"Coach Mohns always says it's a third of the game," Siegel said. "It's just as important as offense and defense — it's can make or break things."
Once baseball season rolls around, Siegel is looking to earn the starting nod as the varsity catcher.
For how successful Siegel is on the field in his respective sports, it's in the classroom where he is most impressive. He has a 4.62 weighted grade point average with nearly straight A's.
"One B, and it will bug me for the rest of my high school career," joked Siegel, who hasn't looked too much into colleges but is partial to Vanderbilt, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.
Siegel is enrolled in three honors courses this semester. He's also a member of the Jewish Student Union and recently applied for National Honor Society.
"I think he's just a really dedicated, hardworking and committed kid," Mohns said. "He sets his sights on his goals and he will not let anyone tell him ‘no,' and will not let anyone get in his way — he just keeps working. He's got a tremendous work ethic and he's a great kid. He's just hungry. He just wants to be successful. He wants to be the best at everything he does."
Siegel is trying to make Arizona Sports Donations the best non-profit organization it can be.
He's been getting equipment donated to him by athletes and organizations from around the state.
"I have lots of people contacting me through my Twitter or my website," Siegel said. "I actually recently just gave away a lot of my equipment, so I'm low with inventory at the moment. It's been going well."
Siegel figures he's distributed close to 30 helmets, 45 shoulder pads and a number of cleats for football; for baseball, he's donated bats, helmets and catcher's gear.
Anyone interested in donating or learning more about Arizona Sports Donations can log onto azsportsdonations.com.wixsite.com/website or can email email@example.com.
Siegel loves knowing he's making a difference in the lives of youth kids who may not otherwise get a chance to compete in athletics.
"It makes me feel awesome," Siegel said. "When the kids come (to pick up the gear) is the best feeling because I like to see their reaction to getting a new pair of cleats or something like that."
For Siegel, it's all about making people happy.
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