More than 25 students from the Union County wrestling program spent time Saturday giving back to their community.
UCHS wrestling coach G.B. McDaniel led a group of students and parents as they picked up trash along the two-mile stretch of Highway 176 which was adopted by the wrestling team — from Hardee’s to LSP Rd.
More than 30 people helped in all as McDaniel had the help of parents who chaperoned and pitched in with trash pick-up. Students ranged in age from elementary school to high school, as McDaniel also coaches the Sims wrestling team and Jacket Club Wrestling.
“It was a lot of fun to be with the guys and have them out helping the community,” McDaniel said. “I was proud of how the guys jumped in and were excited to help out. I really like it when the high school guys associate with the younger kids. It’s a good influence on the little guys.”
McDaniel said the team spent a total of three hours cleaning up the highway on Saturday.
Signs which read “UCHS Wrestling” will be placed near Hardee’s and further down Highway 176. McDaniel said the wrestlers are also adopting the road in front of Sims Middle School, and will begin clean-up there in the near future. The sign to be placed on that road will read “Sims Wrestling.”
“I am happy this went so well, and I was happy that our program could give back to the community,” McDaniel said, indicating that he is looking for more service projects in which to get the team involved. “I want my guys to learn more than wrestling from being a part of this program. We are working hard to make this a family and be there for each other, but also be there for this community.”
McDaniel said he is extremely thankful for the parents who volunteer their help — such as the Pucketts, Hornes, Pettys and Dills.
“They all participated Saturday and I really appreciate their help,” he said. “They are always involved and always volunteer their time to this program. Without them, we wouldn’t be doing as well as we are and my job would be a lot tougher. These kids are lucky to have them showing up for all their stuff and helping kids — not just their own — get to the activities we participate in.”
“I wish I had some way to repay them but it is impossible with all they do for myself and the program,” McDaniel added.