Fallen trees and good deeds. How the Weber State Wildcats helped a community bounce back

Sports

Weber State coach Jay Hill and members of the Wildcats football team made the rounds last week helping clear fallen trees from neighborhoods. | Sara Hill

Wildcats assisting in recovery from high winds

OGDEN — Last week’s windstorm prompted Weber State University officials to issue a “Code Purple” notification, meaning the campus was closed until conditions were safe.

Weber State’s football team had an early morning running workout planned that Tuesday morning. Winds were already blowing across the field at 70 miles per hour by then.

Sitting at home with nothing to do didn’t sit well with Weber State coach Jay Hill. By 10 a.m., he decided to go for a drive and saw downed trees everywhere.

Viewing the damage made quite an impact. It prompted Hill to later alter a scheduled football walkthrough that afternoon, a couple of hours after the campus was originally set to reopen. The school eventually decided to remain closed for the remainder of the day.

“I didn’t want coaches and players just sitting around doing nothing,” said Hill, who decided to send out a text to the Wildcats and encouraged them to go out and help at least one person impacted by the storm. He also wanted a picture of the players helping with the cleanup of fallen tree limbs and debris around the community, spread throughout Weber County.

Hill said some players just pulled over when seeing someone in need. A group of 14 joined Hill in assisting for about five hours straight the first day. The next day, another 20 guys helped Hill assist others.

“You can still spend hours and hours and hours cleaning up and it isn’t even close yet,” Hill said of the damage created by the strong winds. “It’s still brutal.”

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Even four straight days of work, he added, didn’t really put a dent in what they could have done. The contributions, though, were greatly appreciated.

Holly, a homeowner in South Ogden, noted the actions of the young men were like a miracle. It wasn’t done begrudgingly. She said it was pleasant to see all different races come together and help out those in need.

“I asked God a long time ago to bring his word in my life and I just felt, ‘Wow, this is love.’ It’s a verb. It’s action. It’s being able to come together and work, intertwining for a common goal.”

“I asked God a long time ago to bring his word in my life and I just felt, ‘Wow, this is love.’ It’s a verb. It’s action. It’s being able to come together and work, intertwining for a common goal.”

The players, Holly continued, were kind and respectful — even telling her to stay inside and relax while they took care of the fallen trees.

How the Wildcats operated as a team also impressed Holly. She said they were in sync with each other and with the community.

“They were lovingly giving of themselves and their time,” she explained. “It speaks a lot to how the coach and his family embrace these …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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