On the football field these guys are fierce. They wear their face paint and block and tackle opponents in an unforgiving manner.
But the men who make up the Hinesville Hurricanes semi-professional football team do have a softer side.
On Thursday, the team delivered gifts and warm hugs to the folks at Coastal Manor Nursing Home in Ludowici.
“Coastal Manor holds a special place in my heart because my grandfather and grandmother were once housed there and I used to visit them frequently,” Hurricanes’ football coach James Sharp said. “For some of our players it was their first time visiting a nursing home facility, but you could see the joy from the players and the patients as they exchanged conversation, smiles and hugs.”
The players passed out bags of fruits and candy canes and gave the facility an autographed Hinesville Hurricanes football as they wished everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Among the ’Canes lending a helping hand were Tony Blocker, Ernie Homberg, Remigio Fonseca Jr., Eric Cooper, Julian Fonseca, Ellis Wright, Jamie Sharp, Adrian Smith, Derek Williams and coaches Sharp and Michael Jones.
Sharp said some of the players spent the time engaged in long conversations with their new friends. The team visited Coastal Manor last year and gave out sweatshirts and pants embossed with representation of the Hurricanes’ 2010 championship win. In previous years, the team gave Hurricanes T-shirts to the patients.
Coach Sharp said the Hurricanes also want to honor the staff at Coastal Manor for all the great work they do in taking care of their clients. The team is working on inviting the Coastal Manor staff to a ’Canes home game this upcoming season.
“I would like to thank Elise Stafford, director of Coastal Manor, and Amber Norris, the facility’s activity coordinator, for making this happen,” Sharp said. “Also, Ms. Rosby Fraiser, the social-service coordinator, talked with coach Michael Ice Jones and let him know how much they appreciate what the team has done for the folks at Coastal Manor.”
“All of the residents are blessed with frequent visits from people in the community, especially organizations like the Hurricanes who visit residents on a regular basis,” Stafford said. “Members of the community bring joy and good cheer to Coastal Manor residents, and it gives them something to look forward to. We are grateful for the tremendous support the community has shown throughout the year.”