Wishes come true for WHS

Published 8:30 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Washington football players run drills through a chute designed to help the players stay low. Thanks to a $10,00 donation by WHS alum Terrance Copper in partnership with the NFL, the school was able to purchase that chute along with several other items. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Though Christmas is scheduled for Dec. 25, it came a little bit earlier for Washington High School this year thanks to the help of Pam Pack alum Terrance Copper and the NFL.
Last November Copper, a wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs who is entering his ninth season in the NFL, took part in a grant program backed by the league that allowed players to donate up to $5,000 to a high school or youth program (or both) and matched that player’s donation. The extremely generous Copper opted to donate the max amount to WHS and the Washington Youth Football League.
With a total of $10,000 to play with, Pam Pack football coach Sport Sawyer said the school was able to get some items for his team that it would have not otherwise been able to afford.
“The money he gave us was an extra benefit and with it we were able to get some wish list-type things,” Sawyer said. “We got an indoor bull sled that we will be able to use when the weather is bad and we got some signs that dress up the weight room and helps keep chart of the kids’ weightlifting progress.
“We got some pads for our sleds, a linemen chute and a digital program called ‘Huddle’ that allows us to download our game film onto a computer the night of a game and gives our kids access to it the next morning by typing in a password from any computer.”
Sawyer said the purchases not only aid the team in its training but the act of generosity also provides inspiration to the players.
“It’s great for them to see a guy help out who walked the same halls they did and went and sat in the same classes they did and made it big time,” Sawyer said. “Terrance is a good guy and for him to remember Washington, that’s great.”
Though Copper is aware of the school’s purchases, he said that was not a requirement when he decided to make his donation.
“They really didn’t have to tell me what they got with the money,” Copper said via cell phone from Kansas City where he is in the middle of doing OTAs with the Chiefs. “I just wanted to help the overall program out.”
Copper also said he was pleased with the progress of the Pam Pack.
“It takes more than one person to improve a program and the program has been making great strides thanks to the coaching staff,” said Copper, who will also be holding a football camp at WHS on June 16.
Washington athletic director Allison Jones said she and the school were extremely thankful for Copper and the NFL’s donation.
“We’re just so appreciative of the fact that Terrance and the NFL thought of us and were willing to provide those opportunities for us,” Jones said. “We’re very fortunate that our booster club and community does a good job of supporting us but Terrance’s gift allowed us to get some things that were on our wish list.”
While Copper’s donation directly helps the football team it also indirectly aids other sports, as Washington is now able to spend money that may have been originally slated for football this year elsewhere.
“Football is a sport that can be expensive to run so when you have additional money coming it helps us spend money in other places,” Jones said. “Also, the weight room is used by all our teams, so while the football team benefitted from Terrance’s gift, we see it as helping out all our sports program.”