High school sports / activities participants make a difference in communities

Throughout October, the NFHS promoted the values ​​of high school sports and performing arts during National High School Activity Month. In this coming year, it has been gratifying to see the return of sports and other activities in schools across the country.

Some states are already starting playoff competitions in football, cross-country, volleyball and other fall sports, and participants in the speeches, debates, and music eagerly await the state’s climactic events.

In addition to the many students, coaches, administrators and officials who excel “on the job”, there are others who are making a difference off the field, the court or the stage in their community.

As we celebrated National Community Service / Youth Awareness Week (October 25-31), we wanted to highlight a few of these remarkable people who have shown various random acts of kindness over the past few years. weeks.

Perhaps most noticeable was the rapid response of the Goddard High School football team (Roswell, NM) to a specific need off the field. En route to a game against Artesia High School, the team bus was at an intersection south of Roswell when coaches and players saw an accident take place.

According to Goddard head coach Chris White, one of the vehicles rolled over several times and was on the roof. “I jumped off the bus and ran towards the vehicle that was upside down,” White said. “The driver was stuck but could communicate that he didn’t think he had a neck or back injury.” Two Goddard coaches, along with the bus driver and sports coach, unsuccessfully attempted to lift the car enough to free the driver. It was then that the team sprang into action.

A few players left their seats in the back of the bus and joined in the effort. The rest of the team followed. The players were able to help turn the car around so the driver could exit the vehicle safely. Goddard sports coach Andrew Aguillar assisted the driver of the second vehicle after helping to lift the car.

“It was one of the best times I have ever had as a coach,” White said. “I coached eight state championship games and never felt the emotions I felt when I realized what my boys had done. They got off the bus like ants and rushed into the ditch to help rescue. It was amazing and I have never been so proud of a group of young men. I can only say I’m proud to be a Goddard Rocket.

In Ohio, she’s a Bowling Green High School cheerleader who has gone above and beyond to make an impact in her community – and in the life of a special three-year-old.

According to an article on WTOL.com (Toledo, Ohio), Emilia Esposito joined the student body at Bowling Green High School to dedicate a football game on Friday night to Gracie Barnes, a three-year-old girl struggling with brain cancer. Support for Gracie included wearing yellow bows for childhood cancer awareness, a special cheer for Gracie, and a breakthrough sign with a yellow ribbon.

“I felt the community really should be involved,” Esposito said. “Just to help him. I think the family just needs that little push of happiness. And I think it’s important to get involved. And just so the community is aware of her situation and we can keep her in our thoughts. “

In Tennessee, the impact teachers and coaches have on the lives of student-athletes was fully visible at Cookeville High School through a program called “My Jersey, Our Journey” in which seniors donate their jerseys to teachers. or to administrators who have made a big impact on their lives.

In an article on WSMV.com (Nashville, Tennessee), it was reported that Clayton Barrett, a student-athlete from Cookeville High School (CHS), chose CHS wrestling trainer Scott Cook because “i feel like he taught me a lot about life. lessons on and off the mat.

Presenting his jersey to Cook, Barrett said: “This is the last time I will be able to donate my jersey because this is our last home game and it’s my last year. I feel like you’ve taught me the most life lessons that I can use outside of the athletic program here and I want to give you my jersey.

Finally, back in New Mexico, when one school suffered adversity, others were there to help. According to an article on KVIA.com (El Paso, Texas), less than 12 hours before the High School Showcase Band’s scheduled concert from Las Cruces, New Mexico, in Albuquerque, a rental truck filled with equipment from the band was Fly.

“We were heartbroken,” said Ty Frederick, group director, “We went through a lot of emotions: anger, grief, grief. We thought, ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do? ‘ “

However, Frederick was inspired by a wave of support from several schools, including Organ Mountain High School and New Mexico State University. He said several programs in Albuquerque also loaned equipment, including El Dorado High School, La Cueva High School, Rio Rancho High School and the University of New Mexico.

“It was overwhelming,” Frederick said. “It’s devastating in the stuff that was stolen, but with the other schools that helped out, we are able to perform. The performance must continue.

The value of student participation in high school sports and performing arts programs? These examples say it all.

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