Men's Soccer Team Takes Time to Give Back to the Community

BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team divided to work two service projects on the college's Mountain Day. Head coach Chris Whalley led a group of student-athletes on a clean up of Highway 194, and assistant coach Jay Benfield took some student-athletes to Crossnore Elementary School for Fruit and Vegetable Fear Factor Day.

Whalley took Dale Parker, Sean Paradise, Dylan Lawrence, Jamie Price, David Palmer, Berin Boracic, Jarret Flenharty and Matt Karas on the highway clean up from Los Arcos to Jackalope's on Beech Mountain Highway. The group collected 13 bags of trash during the clean up.

"Being a local resident, it was very disappointing that many visitors and other locals choose to throw their bottles, cans and other trash along the highway," Whalley said. "We worked very hard throughout the morning and afternoon to get this road looking how it should, litter-free. We can just hope that people will notice and make an effort to keep it this way."

Benfield took Sam Kennedy, Grant Elder, Logan Linton, Alex Ramirez, Adam Burden, Lee Squires and Luke Duffy to Crossnore Elementary for their Fruit and Vegetable Fear Factor Day. The school was given a grant from the state and chose to use it to educate their students on healthy eating habits. The players set up stations such as balloon dart toss, grapes in a bag guess and many more which allowed winning students to try different vegetables. The assorted veggies were rutabaga, Bok-Choy, broccoli, beets, brussel sprouts and radishes. All classes from kindergarten to fifth grade participated in the Fruit and Vegetable Fear Factor Day.

"It was great to engage these students on such an educational and fun day," Benfield said. "Our guys were great with all the classes, and Crossnore really welcomed the Lees-McRae men's soccer program to their school. We hope we can continue to work with Crossnore in the future."