GREENSBORO - For North Carolina A&T baseball head coach Joel Sanchez, there's nothing better than spending a Saturday morning fishing in a local stream-except for perhaps cleaning a local stream with his staff and team as part of the Aggies' continuing commitment to community service.
The Aggies spent this past Saturday cleaning out a local stream that they adopted near the team's home facility, War Memorial Stadium.
The adoption and cleaning effort is another part of Sanchez's goal to help integrate his players with the Greensboro community and to show their support through volunteering.
"We're trying to be involved in the community as much as possible. We're trying to help our athletes understand that they are role models and that they've been given a platform," Sanchez said, explaining why the baseball team adopted a stream through the Greensboro Stormwater Management Division.
The Greensboro Stormwater Management Program enables families, local business owners, civic groups, neighborhood organizations, and youth groups to adopt a stream to become involved in protecting the area's natural resources. The Aggies joined the program to help clean up the area near War Memorial Stadium.
On Saturday, January 12, the Aggie players spent a few of hours cleaning up the trash on both sides of the stream, working to remove the litter and debris. A few players even made it into the water to do their part to help clean the environment.
"Coach [Wes] Timmons and I were on the opposite side of the bank trying to make a path with a Louisville Slugger in order to gather a few pieces of trash when I looked up and saw [sophomore pitcher] Shane Carter in an Olympic-style breast stroke, fighting the current for an empty Coke bottle," laughed junior infielder Luke Tendler. "I'm not sure if at one point he fell in and remained in the water all day or if he voluntarily jumped in, but every time I saw him after that, he was waist deep in the stream."
The A&T baseball team also volunteered their time in December by participating in the 21st Annual Winter Walk for AIDS, hosted by the Triad Health Project. Sanchez looks to keep his team involved in the community during this semester.
The Aggies open the 2013 at War Memorial Stadium against Buffalo in a series from Feb. 15-17.