Two Groups Unite to Build Back Up Athletic Field - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/22/05

Two Groups Unite to Build Back Up Athletic Field

The game, and life, must go on despite the enormous uphill battle facing South Mississippians.

Athletic fields were among the many structures damaged or destroyed by Katrina.

However, two unlikely groups joined forces Saturday in Pass Christian so some young athletes can keep their dreams alive.

Pass Christian fast-pitch softball players traded their softball gloves for work gloves Saturday morning.

They were working beside out-of-state sailors on a common mission, restoring the Pass Christian High School softball field.

"We are from the Aircraft Carrier, the U.S.S. John C. Stennis, we're stationed all the way from Washington. But, as many of your viewers are aware, Senator John C. Stennis was a very important man here, and we've kind of made this our adopted state, so when the call came, people from the Stennis to come to the Stennis, we said sure. All these guys came out here to volunteer," said Gabe Owens, a member of the U.S.S. John C. Stennis.

These sailors have been pitching in with projects in the area since Monday.

"We've been doing a multitude of events and projects, ranging from cleaning up schools, removing refrigerators and debris from houses, working with elderly couples that haven't even been to their houses that were destroyed," said Corey Barker of the U.S.S. John C. Stennis.

Restoring this field will help these young athletes get back into the game, and will bring some of them one step closer to achieving their long-term dreams.

"I'm counting on softball or soccer to pay for my college tuition, so without this, I don't think I'd be able to go to college," said Jennifer Jones, a Pass Christian Softball Player.

But thanks to a helping hand from these Washington sailors and a whole lot of drive, it won't be long before these softball players will be warming up for the season on this newly restored field.

By: Toni Miles

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