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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Annual Fruit Fest celebrates HHES athletes’ pre-season hard work, dedication

Annual Fruit Fest celebrates HHES athletes’ pre-season hard work, dedication

By Shannon Myers

Thursday, Harker Heights High School parents, football staff, and players ended their hard training weeks with the family-building and morale-boosting Third Annual Fruit Fest before the Knights’ football season kicks off.
“The kids really look forward to it because it’s a nice break from the hard work they’ve been putting in every day just to come together and have time for fellowship with each other, team bonding,” said Athletic Coordinator and Football Head, Jerry Edwards.
Fruit Fest is a celebration for all the work team members put into the two-a-day practices before school begins. Fall camp for the Knights consists of practicing six days a week, at least twice a day from four to five hours, toughing it in the hot and humid weather.
“Keeping the morale up and getting the parents involved… When you have a coach like this who is brining opportunities for the parents to really engage with the young men. We get to know them, not just seeing them out on the field but serving them. Just creating that relationship,” said Team Mom Lead, Aya Eneli.
Parents helped gather the fruit donations and serve a wide variety of fruit and water to the players. Over 20 parents donated fruit and about 30 more who volunteered for the event.
“Not just the players get together, it’s also the parents and families. Everyone is here. It just makes the team better. It’s good for everybody,” said number 18, Seth Bodolus, kicker and corner back on the varsity team.
The annual tradition started back in 2013, with the idea originating from Edwards.
“I approached the parents about our last day, the night before we go scrimmage, just an opportunity for the kids. Fruit, it’s healthy and easy to get a lot of and the parents just took off with it. A lot of credit goes to parents because they really embraced it. They’ve really created it into what it is now,” said Edwards.
Fruit Fest is usually held out on the turf, but due to the abysmal weather conditions, the tables were set up indoors, crammed into the hallway at the Field House.
“We come here to celebrate all the hard work we put in. We get together, we eat and it’s healthy too. It’s just a fun thing for us,” said JaQuan Tillis, varsity team receiver and running back, number two.
Fruit Fest fed over 175 players, trainers, and coaches.
“We just want to start the season off well. It shows them that the parents are going to be here and we support them no matter what. That’s what I like because I’m showing my son, ‘hey, I’ve got you,’” said Denise Hines, Freshmen Team Mom.


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