Reitz Memorial and Mater Dei football teams help clean up city streets

Reitz and Mater Dei football teams help clean up city streets
Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 8:48 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The football programs at Reitz Memorial and Mater Dei High Schools are known as notorious rivals on the gridiron.

On Saturday morning, both programs focused on what they had in common – being a part of the Evansville community.

“It was a great idea to get the students and the football players to do this and they’ve been a tremendous help,” said Julie Welch, Executive Director of Keep Evansville Beautiful.

When the need for volunteers came up in conversation, Keep Evansville Beautiful says they thought of the local football teams.

“[We] Thought it would be a good idea to partner with Memorial and Mater Dei’s football teams, and get them to come together and do something for the good of the community,” Welch said.

KEB reached out, and on Saturday morning, the teams were helping out. Both spent four hours cleaning up tree limbs and trash from the side of John Street.

“Coach Hurley and our team were excited to help out Keep Evansville Beautiful, we jumped on it right away,” said Amy Broshears, whose son plays for Memorial.

Not only mothers of players were out there, but Mater Dei faculty also joined the mix as well.

“The community has given back to them so much, so we wanted them to give back,” said Tara Schnur, athletic office coordinator for Mater Dei.

This is the first time the teams have partnered with the local Evansville community non-profit.

“I think that’s something we take pride in with Memorial football program, is helping out in the community in any way we can, and it was just another opportunity to get out and do that,” said Matthew Fisher, a sophomore quarterback for Memorial.

As Memorial players were lugging the limbs, the Mater Dei players were cleaning up trash.

“Picking up trash was fun, and it was just sad to see how much trash is just on that one part of the highway,” said Jackson Ford, a Mater Dei freshman.

Even though it’s all business on the field, they found a way to have fun and give back to their community.

“Any way we could help you know we’re always for that,” Fisher said.

The partnership wasn’t just between KEB and the two teams, KEB also teams up once a year with the Indiana Department of Transportation.

INDOT chipped in by providing workers to cut down the limbs, and run the limbs through the chipper. INDOT also provided the equipment needed for the project.