September 10, 2011
Football players from St. James High School in Murrells Inlet, SC and their coach, Mark Fischer, traveled to Louisa County to help the area clean up from the 5.8 magnitude earthquake on August 23. Fischer is the former Louisa County High School football coach.
"We believe in paying it forward. You've got to go to where there is need and you got help folks out", he said.
The players helped unload trucks of school room equipment from the earthquake damage at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. The supplies were loaded into classroom trailers alongside Trevilians Elementary.
Coach Fischer, a native of Louisa County, says his reaction to the earthquake was disbelief.
"When we found out, we just started making phone calls trying to see if everybody was OK," said Fischer.
But Fischer's actions didn't stop with phone calls. He asked his St. James High School team if they wanted to volunteer to help the earthquake stricken area. The response was a resounding yes.
"I though it was great. We can support and help another team," said player Bradley Mewhorter.
"It's a really nice thing to do. I know I would want someone to help us," added Jacob Boomer.
Louisa County High School football players were also on hand to help out, along with their new coach, John Meeks.
"I think it's an awesome thing. Coach Fischer and I coached together for quite a while, nine years in Louisa. I though it was pretty cool when this tragedy struck, that the first thing he thought of was how he could help," said Meeks.
In the midst of all the moving and construction, the two football teams from two different states still found a common ground.
"I feel like we are the same group of kids just from different areas. We all talk about the same stuff," said St. James player, William Lee.
It's a bitter sweet moment for a coach returning to devastation, but it's also a lesson in giving back.