Area schools, companies help get Hornets back on the fieldPublished 10:01pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Saturday afternoon Concordia College Alabama head coach Don Lee was just thankful that none of his football players were injured in a bus fire that left many questioning whether the school could rebound fast enough to play again this football season.
Now, Lee, his fellow coaches and players are starting to pick up the pieces and rebuild Concordia’s football program, thanks to the generosity of area schools and companies.
With his focus back on his football program Monday and his team set to play at West Alabama Thursday, Lee started fielding calls from people wanting to help. Morgan Academy was among the first to call, offering up 20 to 30 pairs of shoulder pads, practice jerseys and coolers. Jeff Davis High School in Montgomery called, loaning Concordia its football jerseys. The schools wear the same colors, so Concordia will still be wearing their familiar green.
The generosity just kept coming too.
“Rawlings just sent me a hundred pair of shoulder pads,” Lee said. “They had a driver drive all night for us to be able to play Thursday and delivered us 82 helmets. That was a blessing.”
Nike is delivering Concordia a brand new set of jerseys and shoulder pads that Lee expects to arrive in the next few days, but not in time for Thursday’s contest.
Others have also attempted to lend a hand. Dallas County High School offered up shoulder pads and Concordia College-Ann Arbor in Michigan also called and offered aid.
Insurance will likely cover the equipment lost, which Lee estimates could reach as high as $70,000. Items students lost will not be covered.
The team practiced Monday at 5:30 a.m. without pads or helmets on, but Lee said the support continued to come in. As people drove by, they honked their horn at the team as they practiced, showing their support for the program that continues to move forward from Saturday’s unexpected turmoil.
“We’ve been out there at 5:30 [practicing],” Lee said. “People drive by at 5:30 in the morning blowing their horn. That means a lot to me.”
Lee reiterated the support from everyone has been incredible.
“This is showing me American football,” Lee said. “We have had calls from New York, New Jersey and Missouri. Everybody is pitching in and trying to help out.”
The team is ready to play Thursday’s game thanks to the generosity of other schools and companies in the area.
“We might look like a college football team before all this is over and done,” Lee said, trying to keep a sense of humor during a week where he admits he has little sleep.
The coach said his team is holding up well through everything that has happened this week.
“My team has been doing well. It is just me trying to get from place to place to get stuff,” Lee said. “They’ve been keeping on and our coaching staff is going to keep on coaching. Players are showing up on time and doing what they need to do to be successful.”
Lee said he is excited just to get back on the football field, where his team can focus on football and get back to playing the game they.
Concordia is 0-2 on the season after losses to Abilene Christian and Stillman. Last week’s game against Miles was cancelled after the bus fire.