Coach Flowers steps in when Southside’s equipment breaks down

Published 9:12 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Football coaches often preach about going the extra mile for their team. A euphemism directed to encourage hard work and selflessness.

But you can’t measure that mile in 5,280 feet, so how far is it? Southside High School football head coach Daniel Flowers tested the limits of the extra mile when the teams’ washing machine and dryer stopped working.

Southside High School is a Title 1 school in the Dallas County school district.

Many of the students come from low-income families.

The Panthers football team must support itself in order to keep the program afloat.

“We really only have one paid coach on the staff at the school,” Flowers said. “I’m dealing with like 50 kids, so that’s a lot of work.”

The Panthers football budget doesn’t have much wriggle room, nor a safety net for expensive malfunctions such as this.

“We needed the funds,” Flowers said. “Looking at my account to start the football season, there wasn’t really much I can go out and purchase. We have a lot of fall billing setup for like paint and helmets that we need for the season. I really didn’t have the money, and I pretty much got tired of washing stuff at home.”

Knowing that his team still needed to practice, he took home the practice and game jerseys and pants for all of his players and used his own washer and dryer to make sure they had clean clothes to wear.

“We have four sets of jerseys and three sets of pants,” Flowers said. “And that’s not including practice pants and jerseys. Every time we had a seven on seven, I had to get the pants and take them home and wash them.”

Flowers mixed the football gear in with his laundry, his wife Deondria’s and that of their 13-month old twins.

But after a certain point, it became too much. The water bill was increasing and something had to be done.

“My wife told me I can’t do this anymore,” he said.

This past Thursday, Flowers and his wife setup a fundraising website on donorschoose.org and pitched their request for a new washer and dryer for the school.

Deondria setup the page and explained who they were, what they needed and why.

“[Deondria] pretty much set it up,” Flowers said. “She dealt with all the responses and stuff for me. She set the whole process up.”

The goal was to raise $1,550.12 for a white Maytag 5.3 cubic ft. 11-cycle top-loading washer, the matching Maytag 7.0 cubic ft. 11-cycle electric dryer and the additional fees for taxes and processing.

Flowers spread the word about his fundraising project on his Facebook page.

In just two days, 11 donors were able to reach the goal and raised $1,551 for the Panthers to receive a new washer and dryer.

“We started on Thursday, and I woke up Saturday morning and it was 100 percent complete,” Flowers said.

Flowers said the units will ship out in the next couple of weeks and arrive at the school.

According to Flowers, All In Sports Outreach gave more than $750 on the first day of fundraising.

Once the washer and dryer arrive, Flowers said it will make his job much easier since he’ll be able to wash the clothes more frequently and at the school.

He will also allow the other sports teams to use the units should they need access as well.

“I purchased this for Southside,” he said. “It’s not just for us. Yes, the football team got it. But if the basketball team or baseball team needs it, they can use it.”

The work continues even though this particular goal was met. Flowers is in the process of reaching out to sponsors himself, in order to help raise money.

“I go around to business to ask if they want to buy signs to go on our gates for football games,” he said. “That’s another job I have. It’s more work, but we need the help.”

Currently, he has commitments from 16 out of the 26 companies he’s reached out to purchase gate signs.

The Panthers football season is just around the corner, and coach Flowers is continuing to march that immeasurable extra mile for his team.