Hiawatha athletics returns after tornado outbreak - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Hiawatha athletics returns after tornado outbreak


Hiawatha High School's baseball and softball teams both took the field Friday, eight days after the tornado outbreak hit their community.

These athletes are providing what their fans need most right now.

"Guys, use this as two hours of a break. Just take things off, forget about everything and have some fun and enjoy what's going on out on the field," says head baseball coach Sean Donnelly.

Hawks baseball and softball played on separate fields, but have been unified in their mission to give back off the field.

"I couldn't tell you how many text message I got between Thursday night all day through Sunday," said Donnelly. "Being a small town, there's that sense of we know everybody, they want to do everything they can to help out."

"When it happened that night, we all went to the firehouse to help out. I know there are some girls that have been helping when they can. It's great living in a small community," said head softball coach David Tamraz

They've helped fill a storage unit behind the high school, and while there's more work to be done, playing again revives a sense of normalcy.

"Watching everything happen, you feel like you can't do enough or are you doing the right thing. Sometimes you feel helpless, athletics are a way sometimes to help put things back together," says athletic director Mark Zych.

Players have embraced a rally cry - for affected friends and family, it's okay to cheer for runs, hits, and wins again.

"It's definitely a relief. It takes our minds off everything else, just focus on one thing at a time. Then afterwards, get back to what needs to be done with the town," says baseball senior Nicholas Doolittle.

"It's been kind of hard because at first people were focused on volunteering and cleaning up and helping out our friends. It's definitely brought us together as a team," says softball senior Alanna Sterling. "It feels good when we're winning because it gives us something to fight for."

A fight that has brought out the best in our tight-knit region.

Powered by Frankly