Golf Course Recruits High School Football Players For Help With Storm Damage

LAKE COUNTY, S.D. – Strong winds pummeled parts of the Sioux Empire Tuesday night. At a golf course in Lake County, trees were knocked down leaving branches and debris scattered. But in true small-town South Dakota fashion, an army of volunteers is helping clean up the mess, many of which, are used to working as a team.

“About 11:15 p.m. it sounded like a freight train coming through,” says Lakes Golf Course Superintendent Russell May.

It’s a different scene in Lake County than it was 24 hours ago.

“Where do you start, where do you send a crew to start picking up because the devastation is obvious,” says May.

Lakes Golf Course in Wentworth is suffering some of the worst damage.

“Probably between $5,000 and $10,000 in damage,” says May.

The golf course saw windows broken, cosmetic damage to some of the tee boxes and signs knocked over. But the majority of the damage that can’t easily be replaced, was uprooted trees.

“These trees have been here probably 100 years at least,” says May.

Tree after tree now lay horizontal. It looks like the storm won. But the game’s not over.

The Chester high school football team spent their free time after school and before practice helping clean up the course.

“It’s really sad when something like this happens, so we just wanted to help them out,” says senior quarterback Devin Eppard.

“It feels good to give back to a community who gives us a lot of support throughout the year,” adds junior center Aaron Goodale.

Head Coach Ken Prorok says it’s important to teach his players perseverance.

“Whenever you face a little adversity in life, and obviously this is an adverse and tragic thing, fortunately nobody got hurt, but [helping] really brings us together as a community,” explains Prorok.

It’s a life lesson that will translate to the field.

“It’s going to help us throughout the year, come together as a team,” says Goodale.

And the golf course is thankful to be on the receiving end.

“It’s very nice that they can come out and give us a hand,” says May.

This isn’t the first time the golf course has suffered storm damage. May says 6 years ago, they lost trees to strong wind and boats in the area were flipped over, but they bounced back. They say this time will be no different.

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