Jordan High Baseball Team Gives Back to Community Through Volunteering
Apr 07, 2016 04:27PM
● By Kelly Cannon
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Sandy - Before the season began, Jordan High School’s baseball team came together on Feb. 26 to give back to the community through volunteering at Saint Vincent de Paul homeless dining hall. The team prepared meals, gave out those meals and cleaned the dining hall afterward. The 35-member team helped serve around 580 people that day.
“We try to do it every year to build camaraderie,” said Quinn Marsh, the pitching coach of the team. “It’s a privilege to play [on the team], so they should give back to the community and the state.”
Located at 437 West 200 South in downtown Salt Lake City, Saint Vincent de Paul has served lunch and dinner to homeless people in the community since 1967. Marsh said the team chose to volunteer at that particular shelter because other coaches have volunteered there in the past.
Marsh said the experience was eye opening to the players on the team. Many of them didn’t know about how severe the homeless situation is in the state.
“It was an opportunity to have them see how good they have it,” Marsh said. “Their parents put a lot of time and money into baseball. It opened their eyes to the reality of life.”
Marsh said many members of the team were deeply touched when they saw the people they were serving. One member of the team broke down after seeing a family with a toddler and an infant.
Eighteen-year-old Drew Lisk plays shortstop for the team. It was a moving experience for him.
“You hear about people like that, but to see it first hand, you realize how fortunate you are to have a home to live in and food to eat,” Lisk said.
Lisk said it was touching to see people coming back for their second meal of the day.
“Getting those meals is a big deal, and they were so happy to receive it,” he said.
Second baseman Tate Hathaway had the opportunity to sit down and talk to a gentleman at the dining hall.
“The guy, he said, grew up and everything was good,” Hathaway said. “He was going to the University of Utah for baseball and had his whole life ahead of him. But then he started smoking weed then moved onto heavier stuff. He told me to stay away from all that, because he didn’t want me to end up here.”
Hathaway, an 18-year-old senior, has committed to playing baseball at Salt Lake Community College after he graduates from Jordan High School.
Hathaway said the experience made me realize how lucky he is to have the things he has.
Sixteen-year-old Heneli Avendano is a pitcher for the team. His role during the service project was security. He watched the doors and watched the people to make sure everything was safe. He was really touched and emotional when he saw little kids with their parents.
“The kids have no control over being born into that situation,” Avendano said. “Other players sometimes complain about not having what they want, but these people don’t have what they need to survive.”
Avendano said he is planning on going back to volunteer with his church.
The Jordan High School baseball season opened March 12 with a 7-5 win over Riverton. Jordan won its first three games of season. Marsh said the team is young, but there are three seniors who have already committed to playing at various colleges.
“The younger guys are experienced baseball players,” Marsh said. “Let’s hope they rise up and handle the pressure of varsity baseball.”
Jordan High is in Region 3 of Class 5A and will play against Bingham, Taylorsville, Cottonwood, Brighton, Copper Hills and West Jordan, along with non-region games against Pleasant Grove and American Fork. Marsh said it’s a good but tough region.
“It’s probably the most competitive region, without a doubt,” he said.