AUSTIN (KXAN) — The winter weather that has swept across Central Texas has now given way to warmer temperatures but there is still work to be done. For the Anderson High School football team, they jumped at an opportunity to help.
“Building relationships and enjoying it,” said Anderson junior Brady Gephart about giving back as a team. “And really coming together as a family is really huge in these moments where the community needs you the most.”
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Brady Gephart is one of the many Trojan football players who gathered in north Austin to help move trees that had fallen due to the ice storm. Gephart’s grandmother, Marsha Gray, lives close to Anderson High School and was one of the many who had fallen branches all over her yard.
“My husband and I, there’s no way we could have cleaned this out,” said Gray about her yard which had been largely cleared by the team. “It’s really hard to get anybody out to help us so we so much appreciate the kids, the football team and the school.”
Neighbors with Marsha Gray is Norma Neal, who has lived in her house for 45 years. She has been one of the many Austin residents who’s lost power the last couple of days, making the help she’s received even more important.
“It means a lot,” said Neal about her yard being cleaned as well. “These are all our neighborhood kids. We know the parents. We’re a close-knit neighborhood.”
Enough Trojans were eager to give back to form five groups. One was with head coach Donald Hatcher helping out Gray and Neal. Another group went near Doss Elementary School, particularly meaningful for some Trojans.
“We live out here,” said Anderson junior Dayden Williams. “Some of us went to this elementary school, some of us went to Murchison [Middle School] right down the street. It sucks to see your neighborhood get torn apart but it’s always good to help.”
“Something that we’re blessed with at Anderson is our kids really, genuinely care about our community,” said Anderson assistant coach Peter Zoumboukos. “It’s a lesson they’re learning but a lot of them already know it. And that’s something that’s super important to them.”
The coaching staff noted the players’ enthusiasm for the project and how they helped to organize it all. Parents, coaches and boosters all were there to contribute to the effort.