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Nature path redone by Eastern athletes

In an effort to build team solidarity, the coaches of the cheerleading squad and the basketball team have come together to give a much needed makeover on one of Eastern’s more neglected walking paths.

At the beginning of the semester the men’s basketball team and the cheerleaders volunteered their time and effort to refinish the path through the woods behind the McInnis parking lot.

“We want our guys to give back to the institution,” said basketball coach, Matt Nadelhoffer. “We want our [athletes] to have pride in their institution and who they play for.”

Cheerleading coach Rebecca Nadelhoffer felt it was important for the cheerleaders to be involved in this project as well.

“We did it because we needed a team building experience that would benefit the community,” she said.

She said that the teams needed to do something selfless in order to bring them together and that the physical labor promoted discipline.

The teams cleaned out the path, pulled weeds, restructured the walk using logs and sticks and added mulch so it could be easily used.

Around 40 basketball players and cheerleaders completed a combined 125 hours of labor that would not have been able to be completed by plant operations.

“This brings to light the fact that more students should be involved. Students at Eastern are under involved,” said assistant basketball coach Chad Hunter.

“They [coaches and teams] just took the bull by the horns and did a great job,” said Rob Smith, director of campus services.

Hunter said that the players on the sports teams want to give back to the institution which supports them.

The path will be the first of many projects performed by the teams, and hopefully other student groups, teams and clubs will follow suit.

According to Smith, the path was originally created as a senior project several years ago. Smith could not recall the name of the student organizer, but he did remember that the path was to be maintained by the Earth Keepers club.

It had been neglected and when Smith was asked by the basketball team for a project idea, the path was the first that came to his mind.

At the beginning of both paths stones are arranged to spell “Eastern Pride.” These stones are to be maintained by the first-year players on the team.

“It was a great idea and it was a great team building exercise,” said Brian Nadlehoffer, captain of the basketball team.

Ryan Tozer, another team captain, added, “It was the first thing outside of basketball we did as a team. It was a fun experience to help out around campus…I hope it will last.”

Junior Suzanne Giuliano, captain of the cheerleading squad, said,

“God’s given us the ability for cheerleading and it’s great to be able to help out.”

Both teams have more service activities planned for the year. The basketball team has planned free clinics in Philadelphia at a YMCA. Also in the works is a spring project pending approval from plant operations.

The cheerleaders have a free cheerleading clinic planned before Christmas break. The cheerleaders also have a kids day for later on in the season.

According to Giuliano, the cheerleaders are looking forward to using their talents to help those around them

As far as the cheerleading season goes, Guiliano commented, “It’s a really good group of girls. Even though we’re small, we’ll be able to do a lot.”

“Expectations are high, but there is great energy and a great freshmen class,” said Brian Nadelhoffer of the upcoming season.

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