Arnfelt, Steelers rookies making impact off the gridiron

Stillwater graduate and Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad member Brian Arnfelt was among a group of 13 rookies from the team who played games and visited with patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Sept. 24. (Pittsburgh Steelers photos)

Stillwater graduate and Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad member Brian Arnfelt was among a group of 13 rookies from the team who played games and visited with patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Sept. 24. (Pittsburgh Steelers photos)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are still seeking their first victory on the field after falling to the Vikings in London on Sunday, but there have been happier times away from the gridiron thanks to Stillwater graduate Brian Arnfelt and his peers.

Arnfelt, a member of the team’s practice squad, joined a group that included 13 Steelers rookies who visited the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to brighten the day for countless kids facing a variety of challenges. Team members played video games, classic board games and/or arts and crafts.

Stillwater graduate and Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad member Brian Arnfelt was among a group of 13 rookies from the team who played games and visited with patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Sept. 24. (Pittsburgh Steelers photos)

Stillwater graduate and Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad member Brian Arnfelt was among a group of 13 rookies from the team who played games and visited with patients at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Sept. 24. (Pittsburgh Steelers photos)

Kimberly Phillips said in a Steelers press release the visit was appreciated by her 6-year-old son Brennan.

“He was very sad and cranky this morning,” Phillips said. “He was bored and said I want to get out of here. Then we found out the Steelers were coming and his whole attitude changed dramatically. In the middle of this crisis he is having, it’s a blessing. I couldn’t believe that we were going to be here when they are here. I think it’s fantastic they do this.”

Arnfelt, an all-state performer for the Ponies before graduating in 2008, signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent this spring and was added to the practice squad in August after the final round of cuts. The defensive end served as a captain for Northwestern his senior year and finished his master’s degree in sports administration in June.

Arnfelt, who was also a state qualifier in the shot put for the Ponies, traveled with the Steelers to London and attended the game at Wembley Stadium.

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