Greene County news
FAIRBORN — The noise of hammers hitting nails was audible on Saturday morning as members of Wright State softball built two homes for the team’s annual Habitat For Humanity build at Stillwater Church.
After building each wall, the smiles on the faces of the players and subsequent group photos appeared to be showing that a team bond was also being built.
“Community service is always a good way to forget about yourself and think about other people for a while,” senior shortstop Becka Peterson said. “That is what team is about. You’re forgetting about yourself, and you’re doing everything for your team. You do everything here that you’d do in a game.”
“They get to know each other and trust each other. That correlates over to the field of play,” assistant coach Dave Brittingham said. “It makes them fight a little harder for each other. It’s a growing experience for everybody. Not just them, but the coaching staff as well.”
Stillwater Pastor Jon Ferguson, who is a former student-athlete, was appreciative of the effort the players were able to bring.
“It’s awesome to see student-athletes out here serving,” Ferguson said. “They have a lot to do. I’m a former student-athlete, and I know what it’s like balance classes with practices and games.”
Senior catcher Vivi Marquez was a newcomer for WSU last season, and she felt being involved with the build last year helped her get acquainted with her new teammates. The experience was new for freshman infielder Tori Walker this year, and she quickly noticed the team building benefits of the project.
“Listening to all of the hammers and seeing everyone working together to build the houses is awesome,” Walker said. “It has helped us communicate, figure things out and get comfortable with each other.”
Brittingham says the look on the players’ faces when they saw the finished product of the build a few years ago is something that makes it worth the effort. Senior outfielder Ashton Salyers has been a part of the build all four years the Raiders have participated and, as she puts it, the final stage of the project is “very personable.”
“It is an amazing feeling to see the walls go up. That is something we stay for every year,” Salyers said. “We enjoy meeting the families too because it is very nice to see where it’s going and who you’re helping.”
According to Salyers, her experiences with the project have been humbling and that it is something that would be significant for any student-athlete to participate in.
“It gives us perspective on how lucky we are. Coach Loeser says it is really important and all we are is people helping people,” Salyers said. “If you remember that motto and live life like that, there is nothing better.”