I am continually impressed with the quality of youth sports and extracurricular activities here in Lawrence County, the number of young persons who enthusiastically participate in them, and the coaches, parents, teachers and administrators who support these programs with passion and commitment.
However, I would like to voice a concern regarding the “trashing” of the high school bleachers in Moulton during football games. I volunteered for bleacher cleanup after last Friday’s varsity game against Hartselle, to support a young friend who is a band member.
It is my understanding that the band members, to include color guard, routinely show up on Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. to clean up after the previous evening’s home games. It was certainly commendable to see the several young band and color guard members, who with a few parents and friends who took on this formidable task, however, the amount of trash strewn all over the bleachers on both sides of the field, and everywhere else in the stadium area was truly daunting.
A fine young color guard member, Mackenzie, who was working hard doing clean up, personified an excellent youth role model, as did the other young people involved in the cleanup project.
When one considers that these young people did not get home until after midnight, due to two weather-related game delays, their commitment to be up early and hard at work in the heat and humidity is an example of their dedication to their school and community.
But, is all this work after every home game necessary or even an appropriate use of time and energy for these great young people? Can the community members who come to the games not be reminded to throw their trash in the trash cans, as the game announcer at the Hatton Jamboree the previous week, did frequently between plays, while also urging fans to utilize recycle bins?
On the part of the school, can there not be a minimally sufficient number of trash cans for fans to use, so that each and every can is not overflowing with several feet of trash on the ground around it?
A recent newspaper article touted the success of the recent recycling program at the schools, along with the program director’s opinion that recycling should start with our youth. In keeping with that sentiment, would it not make sense to have recycle containers around the stadium for the disposal of the literally thousands of plastic drink bottles strewn on the bleachers and on the ground?
Presumably, a large percentage of fans in the bleachers are adults, who could be modeling appropriate trash disposal and recycling behavior. What are we as a community gaining to institute recycling bins at our schools only to regularly trash our stadium?
I have been involved in supporting youth sports for over 40 years in other states, and know that some degree of cleanup is always needed after a sporting event. That said, the amount of litter in our hometown stadium is completely unacceptable and not in keeping with the self-discipline, hard work, and dedication of our student athletes, cheerleaders, color guard, and band members who provide such great entertainment for all of us.
Let’s work together to change this problem by cleaning up after ourselves.
Stephanie Chris Calderon,