Maryville College football team volunteering their day off to help with tornado cleanup efforts
Saturday was the Maryville College Fighting Scots' only day off from a week of tough 6 a.m. practices. However, instead of sleeping in, they were still working.
"It's tough labor," freshman offensive linebacker Tyler Dailey said about their cleanup efforts in Greenback. The town was rocked earlier this week when a tornado destroyed several homes in town and injured at least two people.
"It's terrible to see such a bad thing happen to such a great community," Dailey added. The freshman said the storm hit close to home, literally. Dailey grew up in the small town about 15 minutes away from campus.
"We've had floods, we've had pretty much everything in Greenback. But I've never seen this," Dailey recalled. "This is just terrible."
More than 20 members of the team stepped up to help.
"I saw this as an opportunity to give back to the community- especially for the people looking for big, strong men to move some things around," said Fighting Scots' head coach Tony Ierulli.
Players said they were in shock when they first saw the devastation. Picking up glass and wood in a farm off Route 95, junior linebacker Dakota Crews said, "You know, I heard there was a tornado, but I didn't expect it to be this bad."
Meanwhile, those in town are grateful for what the team is doing this weekend.
"This would be unbelievably difficult to do without these big, strong guys. There's some big logs they threw in the fire with no problem at all," said Billy Anderson. His grandfather's barn was destroyed from the tornado. "We couldn't do it without them."
The team, on the other hand, said it's the least they can do for the years of support the town has given to them.
For player Dailey, he said his teammates' efforts meant a lot.
"It's great to have people come back, it's like people are coming back to my house. I mean it's like my whole team is helping," Dailey smiled.