The Pleasant Lea Middle School football team recently took a break from knocking pads and helmets together and stepped off of the football field to serve in the community.
On Oct. 14, 20 PLMS football players and coaches spent a few humid hours on a Saturday helping to beautify a Lee’s Summit park’s trail system. Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation staff member Brooke Chestnut helped coordinate the effort that took place at Charles Hartman Memorial Park while Parks and Recreation staff member Liz Drentlaw met the team at the park and helped direct the work.
The task: to move a mountain of mulch that had been dumped in the middle of the woods and spread it out along the hiking trail in areas where the mulch had become thin or had washed out. Players used wheelbarrows, rakes and shovels they had brought to help them complete their task.
Despite the humidity, players worked hard and even showed signs of enjoying what they were doing, every now and then breaking out into song and talking about their favorite sports teams.
“It was very fulfilling to have hikers and joggers come down the trail while we were working and thank the kids for the work they were doing,” said Matt Sisk, PLMS teacher and football coach. “The kids were able to see the impact they were having on these people firsthand.”
Mr. Sisk added that the coaches were proud of the students and their commitment to service.
“While this service day helps us build a tighter sense of community among our players, the coaches really want our athletes to see the larger picture at play here of doing things that benefit other people and the community we live in and not just doing things that benefit only ourselves,” he added. “The kids took to the work and the trail looked really nice when they were finished.”