Oklahoma Baptist University coaches and athletes spend Saturday at several sites in and around Shawnee at the department's first Community Service Day. (Facebook photos)
Teams worked at the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center, C-Bar Horsemanship, Habitat for Humanity, South Central Workshop, Good Shepherd Outreach, Faith Christian Outreach, Heritage Baptist Church, Elks Club and Shawnee Country Club.
"All of our teams had nothing but good things to report for their day of service across the community," said OBU Director of Athletics Robert Davenport. "The projects were mutually beneficial for the organizations and our teams. The blessing of getting to help someone can sometimes be life-changing."
For OBU's newest team, women's lacrosse, it was a chance for a team-building exercise as they moved hay and equipment, as well as horses.
"The lacrosse team had a great time serving the community with the cheerleaders at C-Bar Horsemanship on Saturday," said lacrosse coach Katy Mohr. "It was a great way for us to come together as a team while helping to make a difference for others."
Team building also was part of the experience for women's basketball.
"The girls got a lot done for the church," said women's basketball coach Casi Bays. "The church needed lawn work done, they cleaned the church, but the best part was watching the girls work together on taking apart a big stage. So not only were we able to help the church with things that they needed be done the girls were able to work and come together on discussing how to strategize on how to take the stage apart and get it out the door. It was great seeing them work together. Overall it was a great day to get out and help the community of Shawnee in any way that we could."
The baseball team got its hands dirty with yard work at Good Shepherd.
"Community service is something that we put a significant amount of importance on in our program every year," said associate head baseball coach Chris Klimas. "This year's opportunity with the outreach center was a little bit different from projects that we have done in the past, as it required quite a bit of manual labor. We were extremely pleased with the amount of energy and dedication in which our student-athletes embraced the project. Everyone got their hands dirty and worked exceptionally hard, knowing that it was for a good cause and something that would greatly benefit the Shawnee community."
The teams interacting with teenagers at COJC were the softball, women's soccer, men's basketball and men's and women's swimming teams.
"Our team really enjoyed going out to COJC," said associate men's basketball head coach Kyle Tolin. "It gave our team the opportunity to share how sports has impacted our lives. We talked about character, opportunities and the importance of education. It was a great overall experience for everyone involved."
"The kids were great," said softball coach Pam Fink. "We were a little apprehensive at first, but those are good kids who made bad choices or got put in situations for which they weren't ready. A lot of our girls want to go back and keep encouraging them."