Student athletes continue volunteer efforts off campus

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September 1, 2017 - Irving, TX - University of Dallas freshman Whitney Jackson celebrates with her team after scoring a goal in the first half of the women's soccer game between UD and Concordia. (Photo by: Anthony Mazur)

Even during their offseasons, the University of Dallas athletic teams prove their enthusiasm for helping the community around Dallas.

Head Coach Kelli Trautmann and the rest of the UD volleyball team recently took a day off of their busy practice schedule to clean up the streets.

Trautmann did not care for the trash-covered frontage road on her commute to campus every morning, and decided to do something about it.

“I thought, let’s do something good off the court and get some team bonding,” Trautmann said.

Junior outside hitter Sarah Hughes was one member of the team particularly enthused by the idea of cleaning the streets in place of practice.

“I think my first reaction was thinking that it sounded like a good idea, and that if our coach wanted to clean that area up, it must have really needed it,” Hughes said.

Going forward, Trautmann and the volleyball team want to keep helping the community.

“That is my goal with the volleyball program, to do more community service,” Trautmann said. “There’s a lot of different things around here, and there’s a lot of different activities I need to look into more.”

While the Crusader volleyball team picked up litter around Dallas, members of the UD women’s soccer team helped prepare meals for those in need.

Freshman forward Lauren Amador and junior student assistant Sam Deitschel recently volunteered with UD Campus Ministry at Feed My Starving Children, a Christian nonprofit that packages and distributes meals for malnourished children around the world.

“It was a really cool experience,” Amador said. “We got there, and they told us how to do their program and how efficient they are. I think the team would really enjoy it and we should do it [more].”  

The whole process prepared meals for around 120 children in only two hours.

Women’s soccer Head Coach Lexi Stinson says the rest of the lady Crusaders are eager to start their own volunteer efforts as well.

“Our girls really want to get involved,” Stinson said. She also stated that the team is looking to help underprivileged high school soccer teams in the future.

These volunteer efforts add to those from the men’s lacrosse, softball, and baseball teams who have been equally active in the community. Athletes are hoping that a collaborative effort with multiple teams could bring the athletic department together while improving the community.

“We don’t have a huge athletic program here at UD,” Hughes said. “There is a great potential for all of the athletes to get to know each other. Volunteering with other teams would be a great way for the different teams to work together.”

The athletic programs are clearly out to prove they are just as ready to help improve the Dallas area as they are to win games.

“Athletes tend to have a different reputation than the non-athletic students,” Stinson said. “[Volunteering] shows that they don’t only care about sports and that they care about the community.”

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