“Coach, it’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – The David Crockett High School (DCHS) Pioneers were only weeks away from playing against the Letcher County Central High School Cougars when disaster struck. Now, they’re raising donations for their would-be opponent.
As widespread flooding took hold in Letcher County, Kentucky last week, DCHS football coach Hayden Chandley reached out to his colleagues to check-in. What he heard back told him something had to be done.
“He just said ‘Coach, it’s the worst I’ve ever seen,'” Chandley said, speaking about Letcher Central Coach Mike Holcomb. “Flooding everywhere, everybody in the town’s devastated.”
Later, Chandley learned that six players and two coaches had lost their homes and belongings to the water.
“That’s what really sparked it,” Chandley said. “We just asked what they needed, and here we are.”
The team opened their travel trailer to donations, and plans to take them until Friday evening so they can get everything to the team as quickly as possible. The team is collecting a variety of items:
- Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
- Detergent and Cleaning Supplies
- Clothes and Shoes
- Non-perishable Food
- Walmart Gift Cards
Other donations outside the list will be accepted, Chandley said, but the team is trying to avoid cash for security reasons. For the team, the effort is the least they could do to help fellow athletes.
Donations will be accepted in DCHS’s front office or directly to the gold-colored trailer parked on campus. If it fills up, Chandley said a local moving company stepped in to make sure every last piece makes it to Letcher County.
“This is about life, this isn’t even football-related,” said DCHS Head Football Coach Hayden Chandley. ” They treated us with unbelievable hospitality when we went up there last year.”
Aside from the team and staff themselves, Chandley said locals have made a difference already.
“A community like Jonesborough, you have so many hands pitching in,” Chandley said. “If you can’t do this, you can probably do this, so it’s just been great to see the community come together and just do the right thing and help a brother in need.”