With the historic flood hitting the state of South Carolina, many things were affected, such as school, work, and sports. The effect that the flood had on sporting events was felt all throughout the state, as practices were cancelled and games postponed.
Despite the changes in the schedules, many athletes looked at the bigger picture, pushing the game that they had prepared for aside. Members of the football, baseball, softball, lacrosse, cheerleading and boys and girls cross country teams participated in community service to help the community.
“At this point, it’s not all about football. It’s about helping people and your community,” junior Shane Savage said.
Athletes throughout Dutch Fork came together to participate in service projects that helped the community they know and love.
“We [the lacrosse team] did things like remove insulation underneath houses, clean out garages and homes, and just try to repair homes to a condition similar to what they were before the flooding,” junior Nathan Williams said.
The wrestling team also helped out, loading and unloading donations and moving packs of water bottles onto trucks.
“[The wrestling team] did it to help the community out. We were fortunate enough to not have to worry about the flooding, so we wanted to help those who did,” junior Jaxon Jones said.
Athletes throughout Dutch Fork had different reasons on why they were influenced to help out.
“On Wednesday we went to a neighborhood called Murraywood out near Irmo. I saw pictures [of the flood], and I had been in that neighborhood before, so I wanted to make it look the same way it did,” sophomore Ammar Dossaji said.
Teams were able to put aside the distraction of their sporting schedules and unite to help those who need it.
“To me, [volunteering] just shows you the reality of a tragic event. We weren’t out trying to grow as a team, we were just helping those who need it,” head baseball coach Casey Waites said. “It was sad to see a family that had lost everything.”
Athletes around the school were eager to get the opportunity to give back to their community.
“The [cross country] team works together to get stuff done at practice. Now we came together to get stuff done in the community,” Ammar said.
Overall, athletes believe that their service was beneficial to not only the community, but the bond between them and their teammates.
“As people, helping others affected by the floods gave us a greater awareness for our community and taught us how our actions can positively impact those in need,” Nathan said. “As teammates, the experience brought us closer to each other and built a stronger camaraderie between us.”
Coaches were pleased to see their players extending a helping hand to their community.
“It shows maturity. It shows that they actually care about their community over just wanting to be a member of a team,” Waites said.
Athletes around the school spend a lot of time focusing on their sport, but many were ready to take a break from the field or court and help the community in a time of need.
“We know that the community comes first. We know to help out other people, not be selfish, and put other people’s needs in front of our own,” Jaxon said.