St. Catharine, Ky. -- The athletic teams at St. Catharine College are quickly becoming recognized for their participation in service projects. From sprucing up the city park, to volunteering to help with Springfield’s Sorghum Festival, Patriot athletes are providing a labor force for many community projects.
But no St. Catharine athletic team has defined “service project” better than the Patriot wrestling squad. The grapplers have volunteered for numerous on-campus projects as well as pitching in to help with community events throughout the region. Head coach Spencer Adams sees it as a way of giving thanks for the blessings his young athletes enjoy.
"I want these guys to be recognized for things other than wrestling,” said Adams who is in his second year as coach of the Patriots. “They should be thankful for what they have and give back to those who may be less fortunate.”
The thanks-giving is reciprocal from the entities that have benefited from the wrestlers’ involvement. “We are so thankful to have their help each month,” said Cabrina Buckman of Community Action, an agency that orchestrates food distribution each month as part of Feeding America. “We have an assembly line to fill up boxes with food but without the wrestling team there isn’t much assembly line since there are only four or five of us to do the work.”
Another project of note is the volunteerism at Sansbury Infirmary, a care center for Dominican Sisters adjacent to the St. Catharine campus. The Patriot grapplers have joined the Sisters for bingo nights, aided them with leisurely strolls and walked with them in a 5K Breast Cancer Awareness Walk.
“I hear so many good things from the residents about the team,” said Sansbury administrator Darlene Herald. “The Sisters are in awe that these young men take their time to visit them.”
The list of volunteerism is much too long to provide a detailed description of each. In addition to the aforementioned activities the wrestlers also:
One might think that such a long list of activities could be burdensome for the wrestlers involved. But the team’s lone senior, Shelby Floyd, sees it more of an opportunity than a chore. “Coach Adams and Coach Canter (assistant Gary Canter) have made it a priority for our program,” said the Larue County High School grad. “It is an attitude they have instilled in us. They make each project fun and rewarding. On small projects now that need just four or five guys, we instead get 10 or 15 volunteers.”
And, even in the midst of the wrestling season, the work will go on. The team plans to partner with House of Hope on an Angel Tree project and Adams wants to get involved in helping Habitat for Humanity.
“We want these young men to develop as people as well as good wrestlers,” added Adams. “I hope when they go on to coach that they will do the same with their team, realizing it is much better to give than receive.”