CLAY, W.Va. — Clay County and Herbert Hoover are just two of the high schools in the state dealing with a massive cleanup effort following last week’s devastating floods.
At Clay County, defensive coordinator Barry Payton said the Panthers are at a ‘100 percent loss’ of their football equipment, uniforms, etc.
“We don’t have anything,” he said. “We do have our weight room equipment – a firetruck from Calhoun County came over and they’re trying to spray that out to salvage the weight room, which is next door to our equipment and locker room.”
The Panthers have received an outpouring of support from folks and other schools around the state looking to help the school replace equipment, uniforms, etc. for the coming season.
“I want to thank all the good people who have reached out to us and the good Lord for watching over us,” Payton said. “One thing that has been great is our whole community is backing us and trying to reach out to contacts that they have.
“A lot of our stuff right now will have to come in from donations,” he continued. “Schools like Braxton County, for example, have called us and asked if they can come down and help us move equipment and we we just really appreciate it. We just want to be a part of helping our community heal and getting our community back to normal, doing anything that we can do.”
It’s a similar scene in Clendenin at Herbert Hoover for head football coach Tim Meyer.
“It’s complete devastation. It’s about as close to a complete loss as you could get. The water got up in the Field House four or five feet,” Meyer said. “Anything that water touches, you don’t want to put that on kids. You go through all of that and start cleaning up and before you know it, there is so much trash piled up in front of the Field House. It’s devastating. These kids are down. A lot of their family, friends and their community has lost everything. Then they turn to the one place where they can get some stability — and it’s a wreck.”
“People have been reaching out and wanting the help us in anyway that they can. We were fortunate enough to salvage some equipment that the kids had on their lockers,” he continued. “A lot of sporting goods companies have offered us big discounts on helping replace some of the things we’ve lost. But it’s going to take a lot of work and it’s a good feeling to know that you have so many people backing you, helping you and supporting you.”