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Stepping up- 05/07/2021

By Kevin Taylor 

Alma Schools 


The sound of chainsaws and Friday night football go hand-in-hand during the fall as warm September winds give way to cool October evenings — those with chainsaws use them as a means of collecting firewood for the impending winter months.


This week, however, heavy winds and a fierce late-spring storm saw a number of Alma football players fire up chainsaws to help clear roads, driveways and, in some cases, houses early Tuesday morning.


Juniors BriLee White and Conner Stacy organized the event. Others, like Hunter McAlister and Judson Parker, jumped in. 


"We started Tuesday morning at 9 o'clock," Parker said. "We all met down at CV’s and loaded up in trucks and took our chainsaws and spread out in two groups. We started cutting and moving stuff out of the way for people."


The group, composed of Alma football players, worked through the night. They finished, Parker said, around 6 p.m. Wednesday. 


The Dean Springs area was especially hit hard. 


"I thought we did a really good job of giving back to the community," Parker said. "They (fans) do so much for us, as in coming to the games and supporting the high school in general, not just sports teams. I feel like we gave back enough to satisfy them."


"It's fun, because not only are you helping people, but most of those people are watching you on Friday night," McAlister said. "It feels good to give back to the community."


Alma football coach Rusty Bush was proud of his players' effort. 


"That was 100 percent organized by all football players," he said. "Not one time did I call them or send a text and say, 'Hey, you might want to think about this.' I talk about the place they get to play at; it is special. I talk to them about how the community supports them, and they see that throughout the football season. 


"For them to listen to that, and for them to pay it back the first chance they get, that's huge."


Parker said the team effort is something the players can carry over to the 2021 football season.


"I would like to think so," he said. "I really had a good time with all my friends out there. Thinking things over and how to move things. You have to think about something before moving big objects. We had to work as a team, and be good at it."


"They worked their tails off Tuesday, and to get up and do it day two, that says a lot," Bush said. "I've heard from so many people who either didn't have the means, didn't have the manpower, and maybe not the finances. 


"For teenagers to reach down and take that upon themselves, that's a huge deal."