The Palestine Wildcats received the Danny Palmer East Texas Community Service Award on Wednesday for their outstanding community service last summer.
A spontaneous gesture from the summer turned into a heartwarming accomplishment for the Wildcats. Palestine Athletic Trainer Bethany Coyne lost her husband, Michael Coyne, in May in a fatal car accident – who was beloved as a coach at Palestine Junior High.
Michael and Bethany, along with their one-year-old daughter, moved into their dream home two years ago. There was still some maintenance to be done around the house, which she had told head coach Lance Angel about.
Angel spoke to his team about it after an extremely hot summer training, but hasn’t received much feedback from the players yet. Angel remembers joking with fellow Palestinian coach Cody Mohan that he was hoping someone would show up or it would be a long day for both of them to fill the gaps.
Fortunately, this request was granted. 16 players and eight coaches showed up to help Bethany when needed.
“What I appreciated the most is that our players care,” Angel said. “They have empathy and have shown they care about others.”
In his submission for the award, Coach Angel also stated the following:
“I think all of us as coaches hope that our athletes will bring something with them to the real world that will make them great men and women. Seeing our athletes generously giving up on their team to show love to others gives me hope for the future of this country. I will always believe that athletics is one of the last areas of life that teaches boys to be good men and girls to be good women. This simple act of kindness from our team is a great example.
Bethany also shared a few words with the team about how important the act is to her.
“I am here everyday with all of you. I could yell at you but it comes from the bottom of my heart. I treat you all as if you were my own children. For those who showed up in times of need, that meant a lot to me. You can love me or hate me. I do not know. But the fact that you came to my house and did something for me meant a lot. I thank you all for that.