Page 8

8 | Community

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Jeremiah Collier, left, and Ethan Haas, seniors on the Dunwoody High School Wildcats football team, were up early the night after a pre-season game to volunteer to pack food to be sent to impoverished communities in Honduras.

PHOTOS BY DYANA BAGBY

Dunwoody football players tackle community needs BY DYANA BAGBY dyanabagby@reporternewspapers.net

Jeremiah Collier, a senior linebacker on Dunwoody High School’s football team, is known for some fierce licks against running backs trying to sneak up the middle during a game.

Jeremiah Collier, a senior linebacker, carries a box of prepackaged food to be shipped.

He also could easily carry a heavy box filled with bags of rice in Dunwoody United Methodist Church’s recent Foodstock event, where volunteers prepared boxes of food to be sent to impoverished communities in Honduras. “I like to help the less fortunate,” Collier said. Collier was working an 8 a.m. shift at the church along with about a dozen other DHS football players who also had played late the night before in a pre-season game against Appalachee High School. The Dunwoody Wildcats won 30-7. “Yeah, I had a good game,” Collier said, smiling. “Had some good tackles.” DHS Head Coach Mike Nash says how his players perform on the field is important – but even more important is how they carry themselves off the field. When Nash came to DHS two years ago from Shiloh High School in Snellville, he wanted to instill in his players not only the fundamentals of football, but also the importance of service to the community. “For me, football is a community thing,” Nash said. “Football does a lot to

bring a community together.” While volunteering for various organizations is not required, Nash said it is strongly encouraged. “It’s important the players understand they are part of something bigger than themselves,” he said. Daneen Collier, Jeremiah’s mother, and Tricia Casey, whose son Charley is a senior wide receiver for the Wildcats, are in charge of organizing volunteer opportunities for the players. The team has done jobs ranging from clearing brush and weeds at the historical Stephen Martin Cemetery, which is tucked behind the strip mall adjacent to the massive State Farm development, to cleaning up and setting up for the city’s annual Fourth of July parade. “There are a lot of projects where it helps to have some brawn,” Daneen Collier said. Tricia Casey said the team’s dedication to community service creates “the closest thing to Mayberry, in a good way,” for the city and its residents. “These boys need to be going out into the community to help the community that supports us so much,” she said.

Ethan Haas, a senior running back, carries packaged rice to be put into food boxes.

Ethan Haas, a senior running back, was all smiles despite the early morning at DUMC as he helped organize the boxes of food. “This is a chance for us to give back to the community, to be part of it, because we want them to come out and support us on Friday nights,” he said.

8-18-17 Dunwoody Reporter