Instead of preparing for a game, athletes at Lejeune High School prepared for a hurricane.
Hurricane Florence hit on Sept. 14 and disrupted practices, games and the lives of football, volleyball, soccer and cross country athletes at the school.
“We couldn’t get as much training done since we were away,” said Kamrin Wishard, a junior on the Lejeune High School cross country team. “We train better as a team no matter how hard you work.”
Without practices and school, many of the athletes found ways to help their communities.
“There were a lot of houses that got damaged in the storm,” Wishard said. “I helped some elderly citizens clean up their yard after Hurricane Florence.”
The athletes said the storm taught them an important life lesson — community comes first.
“I stayed on base with my family during the hurricane,” said Broden Wilhelmsen, a member of the Lejeune High soccer team. “My neighborhood (Paradise Point) was one of the worst places hit on base. It was hard with the time off not being able to exercise. I had to help clean up the yard and helping other people move out of their house because it was destroyed. There was no physical activity and time for yourself throughout this recovery process when you are focused on your community.”
Wilhelmsen says that during practice this week, the team is working on staying focused.
With a two-week break from sports, athletes recovered from the storm and took opportunities to stay in shape when they could.
When I got back from the hurricane, I went to the basketball court putting up some shots to condition,” said Darnell Collins, Lejeune High School football junior quarterback. “Lejeune High School football is known as being a smaller team, so we have to be conditioned and we have a lot of skills as an entire team.”
Collins added that his roof almost collapsed during Hurricane Florence.
When the school opened last week, practices resumed but no games were played.
With less than a month of competition left on the schedule, every day counts for the Devil Pups who are working to improve both individually and collectively.
“My family and I stayed on base during the storm, but when the storm hit, it was really loud,” said Trinity Ocampo, Lejeune High School senior defensive setter on the volleyball team. “The storm had an impact on our team because we didn’t get to practice or condition during the storm. We had to get back into the team mentality and condition.”
For more information on the LHS athletics schedule, visit www.dodea.edu/LejeuneHS/athletics.cfm.