Those who wear an Owl Uniform don’t just take pride in competing for their school, but in working for their community as well.
Each of the Owls athletic teams have their own way to serve their community. For instance, the women’s basketball team holds an annual car wash to support a local organization or family in need. The initiatives range from fighting cancer to feeding the homeless to helping a grieving family.
Woman’s head coach Keith Boucher said he tries to tell his players the importance of giving back. “I tell my players, I want you to do three things for me. I want you to be a good person first, a good student second, and then a good basketball player.” Boucher Continued, “Good people give back, because somebody has given you something in your life. Pay it forward and I think they understand that. ”
“My athletes get more out of it than they give back,” Boucher said.
Chris Fecteau, the head coach for the cheerleading squad, said that having an impact in the community is one of a cheerleader’s top priorities, and that student athletes realize the importance of community service.
“We’re not just representing cheerleaders, we’re representing school spirit, school pride, the traditions that we have here, all of the alumni that have come before us and the student body,” Fectaeu said.
Fectaeu and his cheerleaders are at events such as the Demar Marathon in Reading, MA cheering on runners as they cross the finish line. The cheerleaders collect money for the Keene Cancer Society as well.
Student-athletes are also taking initiative on their own. The Student Athletic Committee (SAC) is working with Sodexo to help feed the homeless. According to Brittany Cardente, who is a member of SAC, the fellow members are encouraging the other Owl athletes to donate one of their Zorn Dining Commons swipes to local food banks. The money that pays for that swipe will go towards purchasing food to feed the homeless and less fortunate this coming holiday season.
Most of KSC’s teams take to the streets with trash bags to clean up the community which they share with the locals.
Senior baseball player Cody Dube said the trash collection helps his team grow as a unit.
“It’s kind of cool, because when you get into an atmosphere like that I think it helps team bonding. We’re all just there for the same purpose. Trying to clean up and do our best to help the community,” Dube said.
Junior field hockey player Kayla Renaud said she wants to be able to interact with those who aren’t exactly sports fans, and get to know them as people.
“It’s good to reach out and try to do things in the community so people who aren’t involved in Keene state sports get to see us do something else too,” Renaud said.
Cardente, Renaud’s teammate, said her goal isn’t just scoring one in a game.
“We don’t just focus on the sport, we’re here to help people,” Cardente said.
Boucher also said he wants the community, and most of all his athletes to realize it’s more than just what these athletes do on their respective playing surfaces.
“They are thriving as an athlete, more importantly as a student, and more importantly as a person.” Boucher continued, ”I think that anybody that takes the time to get to know any of them on any of the teams will realize that and will see that a lot of the good they’re doing in the community.”
Jake can be contacted at email@example.com