When the flash flooding devastation hit southern West Virginia, people across the mountain state sprang into action, and that has not stopped. The Brooke High School Athletic Department is organizing an equipment drive, so students downstate don’t have to go without sports this year, adding to their heartbreak.
“High school football has really changed my life. You’re never going to forget it. These memories are going to last with you forever. Losing a season like that is really awful. It’s so sad thinking about it because I couldn’t even imagine,” said Brooke High quarterback, Koty Hudson
“We’re in a pretty fortunate situation here in Brooke County,” said BHS assistant principal and athletic director, Sean Blumette. “We’ve been able to go through our inventories, and what we have and we’ve been fortunate, we have an excess of a lot of things.”
They’ll be sending hundreds, if not thousands of items: brand new footballs, whistles, huge bags of cleats, helmets, teas and shoulder pads. Just about anything you can think of. Once the kids at Brooke High heard about the potential of seasons being canceled, they couldn’t help but spring into action.
“Here at Brooke High School, we are blessed. We have a tremendous community. We have tremendous kids and anytime they are asked to do anything, they rally. They step up,” Blumette adds. “They actually take it upon themselves a lot of the time to ask,’what can we do to help?'”
Not only will this directly impact the kids who play, but their entire community. Brooke teacher Tracey Welch is organizing the efforts, and with a son of her own who now plays college baseball, this hits close to home.
“I can’t imagine having missed his senior year, or not having the opportunity for scholarships for some of those players who are seniors. It’s not just about the sports, but it’s about giving the community somewhere to go every Friday night. Giving them hope to look forward to: rebuilding their schools and rebuilding their athletic departments,” Welch said.
Not only will athletic equipment be donated, they are holding a school supplies drive as well. So many schools lost everything.
“West Virginians stick together. Whether its in the norther panhandle, the middle of the state, the southern part of the state, we are truly West Virginians. When anybody needs help, we are all there to pull together,” said Brooke County Schools superintendent, Toni Shute,
Also stepping up to help out, head coach of Florida State Jimbo Fisher. He is asking every high school in the state of Florida to donate at least one uniform to those effected in southern West Virginia.
Brooke High will be delivering the items to three different schools, Richwood High School, Herbert Hoover High and Clay County High School, on August 1.