Anderson County football team goes from making plays to making COVID-19 shields

High School

CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE)-  The Anderson County High School football team started their practice at 7 a.m. Thursday. Right after, the Mavericks headed from the field to the workshop, working on another type of defense.

Community is a huge part of the Anderson County football program, and the Mavericks did their part by lending a helping hand. The team made plexiglass shields that will go into classrooms across the school district.

“We try and help out in anything going on,” Mavericks coach David Gillum said, “and ya know what’s going on here, in all communities in the country in the last 6 months has been rare. So, anything we can do to jump in and be a part and help is a big deal for our kids, and our community as a whole.”

The team worked in an assembly line, building the shields from the ground up. Staff at the Anderson County Career and Technical Center acquired polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipes and plexiglass from a local hardware store. The technical center team cut down the PVC pipes, prepping them to be assembled by the Mavericks.

ACCTC principal Robbie Herrell says the team’s work was a huge help, as they churned out roughly 300 shields in a little over an hour.

The plexiglass shields will be used in schools to help combat coronavirus and limit the spread making a safer environment for teachers, staff and students as they prepare to go back to school Aug. 10.

Anderson County junior cornerback and wide receiver Garrison Terry says their work is not only important to help protect their fellow classmates but also the football season.

“It’s important because we’re getting back to our classrooms, make sure that everything is OK and that nobody’s going to be hurt or get sick by this COVID and it’ll really impact our season by everything that’s going on around here,” he said.

Aside from the speed of production, the Maverick’s volunteer work also cut down costs, saving taxpayers some money. Herrell said preassembled plexiglass shields would cost $30 each, but the manual work saves Anderson County Schools about $22.

Gillum says they got the idea about assembling the shields through one of their assistant coaches that works at ACCTC and jumped in to help. The team not only helped out their community but also got some productive team-bonding in for a good cause.

“It was just a win-win for our kids to get the community service and at the same time good cause,” Gillum said, “and it takes a lot of labor off their hands too.”

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