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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2013:11:29 03:26:25

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Signs and banners are showing support for the Old Forge Blue Devils varsity football team as the team makes a run at a state campionship. No matter where you go — or look — in Old Forge, the message it clear: you’ve entered Blue Devil country.It’s a borough that has always rallied behind its various sports teams as, season after season, young athletes in the district vie for the chance to travel to Hershey and the state championship.But lately, as the Blue Devils varsity football team continues to advance in state playoff action, it’s not just the those living and working in the famed Pizza Capital that are showing outward signs of support. Someone snapped a photo of a handmade sign in the Lakeland School District offering support for the Old Forge team. Through the wonders of social media websites — in this case facebook — Russell Rinaldi, one of the owners of Cafe Rinaldi caught wind of the photo and made it his mission to find out who was responsible for offering this surprising and seemingly annonymous support.It didn’t take long, Rinaldi explained, for the photo to be shared and reshared before he was able to track down the responsible party. Even though the individual wants to remain anonymous, Rinaldi is insistent about rewarding the gesture, noting that it’s one thing for the community to support the local team, but it goes to another level when the entire area gets behind them.“I’m going to buy them dinner for two at the restaurant, whatever they want,” he explained. “My brother Bobby is an assistant coach,” Rinaldi said, explaining that there’s something really special about this particular batch of athletes.“I know a lot of them because they work for me,” he added. “I have never seen a group of kids like these kids. They aren’t cocky, they’re respectful and kind. They are like true young men.”Rinaldi calls the team “one big happy family.”“I could talk to you for a month about these guys because these kids really grew together, having grown up playing football together since they were babies,” he said. “I have a soft spot for this community and these kids. There are so many people throughout the whole borough between the parents, the fans, the town and the kids and quarterback club, too many to mention. This is the best thing that Old Forge has ever seen and it just keeps getting better.”His love for the team — like many in the borough — and those who work behind the scenes with the team is always motivating his everyday action.A few weeks ago, after being contacted to hang a sign supporting the team’s quest for a state title on his restaurant, Rinaldi called back and inquired about how materials for the signs were provided and paid.After learning the high school girls were painting and making signs out of their own money, Rinaldi supplied the funds instead.And, during the season, Thursday night dinners for the team and coaching staff were dished up at either Cafe Rinaldi’s or Arcaro and Genell’s. Now a Friday pre-game lunch at Rinaldi .“It’s all donated,” he said. “But it’s not just the two of us [Arcaro and Genells] and that’s what is important to note. All of the business in Old Forge donate all year round to all of the athletic programs in the school and that’s what is really special about our community. We know how to come together.”