Gilmour soccer player Santino Harper enjoys college sports lawn business in his free time

It’s a hot, sultry summer’s day when Santino Harper peels out of bed.

There is still a lot to do, the second Gilmour footballer thinks to himself as he puts on his work clothes.

No, no shorts and tennis shoes – that will come later in the day when he drives to Gilmour to lift from his house in Garfield Heights.

Harper’s work clothes for the morning?

Jeans and work boots.

While many athletes in the area may have slept or worked out in the morning, Harper had worked up a sweat as the owner of Tino’s Lawncare.

“Cut hedges, mulch, cut grass,” Harper said of the type of work he did that summer. “I like to do it. I invested in my own lawn care business through Quartanteen and I really liked it.

“I want young people to know that you can make money and do something useful without getting into trouble. It was fun.”

Harper is not alone in the business. In fact, he said the help from his father Lee, mother Teresa, and sisters Pyleena and Jezlene had been “huge”. After all, as a star athlete for the Lancers soccer team, he had a lot of commitment to the program and his teammates throughout the summer.

“I got the idea from my teammates Charlie and Michael Snelling,” said Harper. “They do that kind of work too.”

Harper said he also had a pair of lawn mowers and a couple of push mowers.

But mowing is not his favorite thing to do.

“My favorite is mulching and digging to put in mulch beds,” he said. “It looks great when you’re done. It’s a great exercise, too. It’s not like I can sit back and do nothing all summer.

“I woke up at 7 a.m. every morning, we packed everything up and had a checklist of things we wanted to do that day.”

Now that school has started, Harper said his family has taken up some of his work. But if he can get a job or two before he gets to his school work, then he will.

“It’s busy, but I love it,” he said. “When I went into it, I didn’t know how much I could do or how much I would like to, but it’s fun.”

He’s having a great time on the grate too.

The Lancers beat Hawken 41:22 in Week 4, giving Gilmour a 2-2 record for the weekend’s game against Warren JFK.

In four games, Harper completed 430 yards and five touchdowns to get three three-point conversions.

He had touchdown runs of 78 and 58 yards against Hawken.

“I missed four games last year with a sprained knee so this is a big comeback year for me,” said Harper. “Coach Danny Coughlin (Gilmour’s strength coach) has set me goals with yards and touchdowns. We’re trying to make that happen.

“I like to be in a position where coach K (Chris Kosiorek) and the staff know they can trust me with the ball and defense when I’m playing a corner.”

Harper has big goals for him and his teammates this season, including a long run in the playoffs. But he also admitted that he also keeps an eye on his work outside of school.

“I hope I can develop that next year,” he said. “Maybe I can get more equipment and business.”

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