Teamwork at its finest

Varsity football team helps those affected by flooding


Photo by Grace Bedell

Junior Dustin Hatch repairs a broken fence with the help of his teammates. He was a part of the many Millard West varsity football players who helped with flood relief in Valley, Neb. “The overall experience was very eye opening,” Hatch said. “It made me aware of the amount of damage that had been caused by the flooding. I am glad that I was able to serve a family in need.”

Dana Summers, Staff Reporter

On Sept. 22, the usual sound of blocking tackles at Sunday practice was replaced with nails being hammered into wood. The Millard West Varsity Football team started off their week with a trip to Valley, Neb., around 1 p.m. where they spent the next two hours repairing a home from flood damage.

Senior Alexander Bedell first brought this issue to the football team’s attention when he heard that his family friends Jim and Loraine Davenport needed help. Their house had recently suffered damage from the flooding that affected places around Nebraska. Bedell wanted to assist them in any way that he could and decided to ask some of the other players on the football team if they were willing to lend a hand as well. 

“I’ve always had people willing to help me when I need it, and I know that the smallest bit of help can make a big difference,” Bedell said. “Living in west Omaha, you don’t see that much of people who are struggling like this. Doing these types of things not only makes you feel good, but also reminds you of how fortunate you are.”

The team then decided to take up the matter with head football coach Kirk Peterson, who was all in. He thought that this mini project would be a great substitution for their upcoming Sunday practice.

“I looked at our schedule and thought that doing this could benefit us in two ways,” Peterson said. “We needed a break from football because our first four games were very physical. Secondly, I thought that this was another way to show the guys to appreciate what they have or what their parents have provided them with. I hope it taught them that some of the things they think are hard or difficult don’t scratch the surface of what other people are dealing with.”

With a goal in mind, the team headed to Valley with loads of equipment and determined mindsets. The Davenports had made a list of tasks to direct the team to different projects that needed to be completed so the team was able to get to work right away. They freshened up old paint jobs, patched up the roof, caulked damaged windows and repaired the broken wooden fences.

“Most seemed very excited to be here and all were very helpful,” Davenport said. “They were respectful and well-mannered young men. Even though we had heavy rain early that morning that changed some plans, it was a very productive day. My wife Loraine and I want to thank everyone who was involved.”

The team ended up completing every task that the Davenports set out for them to do. With their extra time, they were even able to help at neighboring houses and pick up trash around the community. Overall, this experience allowed them to work on their teamwork outside of football while helping out people in the community.