NCTC athletes volunteer in community

by Darin Allred | Oct 29, 2013 <p> </p>

North Central Texas College athletes work hard to not only succeed on the field or court, but also make their community a better place.

In the past few months, NCTC athletic teams have been involved in several community service projects.

The baseball, softball and tennis teams all volunteered at the Sky's the Limit Balloon Spectacular held at the Gainesville Municipal Airport. The balloon festival was sponsored by the North Texas Medical Center Foundation. Softball and tennis players worked on balloon crews, while baseball players helped with ticket sales, parking, crowd control and the amusement rides.

The softball team also continued their tradition of cleaning up the playground at The Learning Tree Pre-School in Gainesville. Players helped spread mulch in the playground and added sand to the sandbox. It is the 10th year the Lady Lions have volunteered at the playground.

"It was really rewarding knowing that we were giving back to our community," freshman softball player Brooke Deckard said.

The volleyball team served as volunteers at the Heart Walk in Denton and the Halloween Hustle (a 5K walk/run and 10K race) in Gainesville. The Heart Walk was sponsored by the American Heart Association, while the Halloween Hustle was sponsored by North Texas Medical Center.

For the fifth-straight year, the baseball team hosted a free clinic and cookout for youth baseball players at Darwin Field.

Both the baseball and softball teams are educating young students in Cooke County about the importance of reading. Players from both teams regularly spend time reading to elementary school students.

"Even with their busy schedules, anytime we can have a chance to give back, we will," NCTC athletic director and head softball coach Van Hedrick said. "Whether that be a small part, big part, volunteering, anything we can do to give back to the community, we are glad to do it."

In addition to all of these service projects, the teams also donated all the money from their gate admissions for the season to several area charities including the American Red Cross, VISTO, Noah's Ark Animal Shelter, Littlest Angel Program, Kiwanis Club, Abigail's Arms Family Crisis Center, and Boys Baseball of Cooke County. In all, more than $3,000 was donated to local organizations.

NCTC teams have even more projects planned this school year as they prove to be winners both in competition and in their community.

Baseball reads at Edison Elementary in Gainesville

Softball cleans at playground at the Learning Tree Pre-School

Tennis volunteered at The Sky's the Limit Balloon Spectacular

Volleyball volunteered at the Heart Walk in Denton