The Craig County Rockets have been a shining star in the community. Their goals have not only been to win their football games but to be an example of an excellent community member, by “doing.”
On Saturday, April 15 the Craig County Rocket football players chose as their next community service project to clean up some of the roads in Craig near the school and the walking trail.
“I was trying to think of a community service project for the kids while I was on the way to school, and all of a sudden it was obvious what our project needed to be,” coach Jimmy Fisher shared. “We are blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful place and we need to make sure we keep it as pristine as possible.”
Brock Jones is the offensive coordinator of the football team, and he is also the head coach of the girls basketball team. He shares the heart of Fisher in what a team should exemplify.
Jones asked if they could participate as well and seven girl basketball players joined the 19 football players for a hard-working day, with six coaches assisting as well.
The coaches were: Brock Jones, Leeann Mattox, Jakye Dowdy, Jamie Simpkins, Roland Donithan and Jimmy Fisher.
The Rocket football players were: Tyler Fitzpatrick, Brad Arthurs, Marcus Donithan, Tristan Dooley, Noah Paxton, Jeremiah Fowler, Junior James, Isabelle Laing, Nathan Blankenship, Kadin Arthurs, Hunter Sowers, Carter Price, Malachi Paitsel, Blake Wright, Casey Hutchinson, Jaycob Wolfe, Josh Craft, Isaac Lucas and Blake Kendall.
The girls basketball players were: Brooklyn Cayton, Ashley Cayton, Kailyn Jones, Kammie Fisher, Jenna Boitnotte, Daleigh Donithan and Kallie Fisher.
“We had a lot of fun!” the coaches exclaimed. “Every player and every coach said they enjoyed it and would be willing to do it again. The kids especially enjoyed the appreciative horn blowing and people stopping to thank them.”
They gathered 40-plus bags of trash.
“We threw a few on the school dump truck and some passersby grabbed a few. VDOT is going to grab the rest,” Fisher said.
When asked if they had any “surprising” finds, Fisher responded, “The most surprising, and best, find was a license plate. Coach Roland Donithan found a license plate that said ‘SHOOTER.’ I recognized it as having been owned by the venerable Larry Hypes. Larry was a shooting legend. People would take their deer rifles to Larry so he could align their scopes. Coach Jayke Dowdy is giving the tag to Larry’s grandson, Waylon Hypes, a student at CCHS. Larry passed away in 2014.”
The Rocket football and girls basketball teams would like to thank the Craig County Sheriff’s Office, VDOT and Craig County Solid Waste Department.
“The sheriff’s office helped to coordinate things with the other entities and had deputies patrolling the area to help keep us safe,” Fisher said. “VDOT provided the trash bags, loaned us safety vests, and loaned us some road signs. Artley Bowman and the Transfer Station got us safety vests, gloves, and trash grabbers.”
The teams and coaches shared that they definitely want to keep their part of Rt. 615 clean.
“We are proud of our county and our school. We do not want opponents and visitors seeing trash when they come to our school,” Fisher explained. “I want to tackle the “beast” next. The beast is the Sand Plant Road as so much trash is on the sides of the road. Several of our opponents approach the school from that direction. I want to see it clean. I think the kids are onboard.”
“The students said they had a great time, and they feel really accomplished,” Coach Dowdy shared. “The roadway and trail look much better. They hope this encourages people to tie down their trash on the way to the dump and stop throwing trash out of their windows.”
Donations for their community service projects can be made to Craig County High School, Attn: Kim Wolfe, 25239 Craig Creek Rd, New Castle, VA 24127. Please put “Community Service” in the memo of the check.
“I believe that community service is an integral part of a high school athletic program,” Coach Fisher shared. “High school sports are not just about games and events; they are about helping kids grow into adulthood. Being civic-minded is a great quality for anyone to have.”
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