OAKBORO — South Stanly High School’s football team has been busy on the field, in the classroom and around the community lately. The Bulls recently helped with community cleanup after Hurricane Florence and visited with area elementary students.
Coach Ryan Ochier has spearheaded an outreach program for his team that took players to Norwood Elementary, Aquadale Elementary and the Oakboro STEM School on Sept. 7. During the school visits, players greeted students as they arrived at school and visited classrooms.
Ochier said the primary goal of the school visits was to generate community interest for the team and to create a sense of togetherness. “It was great to see the elementary students starstruck as their favorite South Stanly football players greeted them,” said Ochier.
Holly Litaker, an exceptional children teacher at Norwood, said her students enjoyed the visit. “What an awesome way to start Friday morning,” said Litaker. “My students are still talking about the players who even took the time to come into our classroom to speak to students individually.”
Stacy Lee said her Norwood Elementary fifth graders praised the players for their attitudes and engagement. “They happily greeted students, had meaningful conversations and started forming positive relationships,” said Lee.
South Stanly media coordinator Sherry Day says the football team, as well as other student groups, have also sought out ways to help in the wake of Hurricane Florence. The football team spent time in the past week cleaning up debris in the Norwood area.
The Bulls, captained by seniors running back Tori Colson, defensive end Joey Darko, center Davis Moose and running back Tony Loftin, are back in action Friday night against Yadkin Valley 1A Conference foe North Rowan.
South Stanly students, led by the student council, recently launched a Hurricane Florence fundraiser called CHANGERS. The group is urging students and faculty to search their couch cushions, cars and pockets to find spare change to donate to local victims of Hurricane Florence.
After the devastation of the Hurricane throughout North Carolina and in Stanly County, the students sought a way to help local victims who suffered as a result of flooding. “It’s a great way to raise money because everyone has spare change just lying around,” said student body President Taryn Tucker. “And it feels good to know we are helping other people,” she added.
On the first day, the students collected approximately $85. To date, they have raised over $150.