They usually play against each other, but on the Mansfield ISD Athletics Day of Service, MISD student-athletes came together to lend a helping hand in various ways.
The service day was held on July 21, and more than 300 students from MISD middle schools and high schools attended.
After meeting at Vernon Newsom Stadium to get their assignments in the morning, they split into groups and headed on buses to schools and organizations all around Mansfield and Arlington.
“We’ve passed out groceries to those in need. We’ve come to several of our middle schools where we helped set up classrooms. We’re all over the place and trying to make a difference,” said Lake Ridge High School coach AJ Sheppard.
Sheppard said the definition of success is working together while helping others, and that’s exactly what is collectively being accomplished by the student-athletes every year on the day of service.
Student-athletes noted that it felt good to give back and make an impact.
“The day of service for me is giving back to my community that gives back to me all the time,” said Riley Lassiter, junior at Legacy High School. “It feels like I’m helping out something that’s always helped me out throughout my life.”
Other participants said that it has been a great time of reconnecting with people they haven’t seen in a while since school is in summer break.
“It’s been really good. I’ve been working with other Mansfield High School kids that I’ve grown up with, so it’s been fun connecting with them,” said Aidan Esquivel, senior at Mansfield High School.
When their tasks were finished, the students came back to the stadium for a meal in appreciation of all the hard work that was done.
“To all the volunteers: Thank you for being a part of this. Thank you for getting up and being a part of this success. Next year, we want to make it even bigger. We want to have other people around Mansfield join, and give us an opportunity to help you as well,” said Sheppard.
The mission of the MISD Athletics program is to promote excellence and build leaders with integrity and confidence through competition. Organizers said events like this help those students become great citizens inside and outside of their respective sports.