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Game of Life (December, 2006)
By LeAnne Weisheit, 11th, Wakeland Student Photographer
& Margie Raper, WHS Student Publication Adviser- Journalism/Photojournalism

Coach Marty Secord speaks to group.

Working in the serving line are LeeHarris, SeanNevarez and HaleyHoughton.

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Mark Jackson serving others.

“Secord passes to Drake.”
"He’s to the 20.”
“The 10. The 5.”
“TOUCHDOWN!”

This may sound like a touchdown run for the championship football game; however, no trophies here. This was the commentary for a much more rewarding experience…washing dishes at the Dallas Life Shelter.

“I wanted them to better learn how to serve others so that they can serve each other, their school and their community,” Wakeland Athletic Coordinator, Marty Secord, said.

Twenty days before Christmas, 25 athletes made the 45 minute drive to downtown Dallas. The destination for the group of Wakeland High School football players was the Dallas Life Shelter and their objective was to serve others.

“The boys’ jobs were to serve the evening meal, which ended up being around 250 people, clean up, talk to people, spread hope and to meet whatever other needs we could,” Secord explained.

It is stereotypical of teenagers to complain about chores, but these young men were eager to serve a meal and clean up for the patrons of the shelter. Besides helping others, they worked on their teamwork in some unconventional ways.

Juniors Calvin Seidler and Rob Scott were in charge of washing the dishes. Seidler rinsed and loaded the dishwasher. Together, Seidler and Scott pulled the lever on opposite sides of the dishwasher, and then finally Boyd would unload. A common congratulation after completing this task several times quickly was “pound it!”

“Rob and I were having a little fun cleaning the dishes. We tried to make doing work more fun by poundin’ knuckles,” Seidler said.

Many of the players took the opportunity to talk with the men and younger boys eating at Dallas Life. They played with the kids and talked football with the older men.

“It made me feel like a somebody. Like I was important, like a celebrity,” Sophomore Jordan Drake said.

Secord felt the opportunity would be beneficial for the students. His goal was for his team to learn how to serve others and be grateful for everything they have.

“It was an eye-opening experience to see people hurting. We think about them sometimes and talk about them sometimes, but it was time to do something about it. I was very pleased with how the guys jumped in there and did what they needed to do to help.” Secord said.

Many of the young men rode the bus home thinking the same thing, and it is echoed in the words of Sophomore Ryan Collins. When asked his take on the whole experience, he simply replied, “life changing.”