By Michael Tolvo
FGCU Softball prides itself in fielding a well-rounded team the can put the ball in play, cover ground on defense, run the bases, and…build houses? While construction is not a skill usually found among the players on a softball field, that is exactly what the 2014 Eagles softball team was doing on January 11.
Twelfth-year head coach David Deiros hit a home run in guiding his squad to its fifth volunteering venture. The girls most recently teamed up with Habitat for Humanity last September when they renovated a local home in desperate need of some remodeling. Their hard work went towards upgrading the cabinets, installing new floor, and a glistening fresh coat of paint.
Deiros wanted to up the ante for softball’s next project, saying last fall that, “our fifth project will be our most ambitious to date.” He wasn’t joking.
The motivated crew of athletes put their talents to good use, successfully raising an entire house for Habitat for Humanity. Deiros outlined exactly what the Eagles were able to accomplish. “We showed up to a property and all they had was an elevated slab. We put all the external and internal walls up. Once [our team] gets started with a project, they go at it with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm.”
Coach Deiros stressed that while the service aspect of the outing was extremely important, there was an underlying purpose to the trip. “It fits along with our entire motif.” He said. “There are no limits, there is no ceiling to what our women can go out and accomplish. If they go out and set their minds to it, they can do anything they want. The bigger thing we are trying to do as a staff is make sure that we encourage our young women to stretch their boundaries. Every time I ask them to, they do so with flair and enthusiasm. I can’t ask for anything more.”
The Eagles hope to continue working with Habitat for Humanity in the future. Their efforts are not only great for the community, but also provided the athletes with a tangible positive experience to look back on. In addition, it gave the girls their first opportunity to work as a unit with a common goal in mind.