Wrestling coat drive warming up chilly winter (with video)

Dorian Villalba


Blanche Harris

Coats and warm clothes are stored in the wrestling team’s room in the CHS Indoor Facility on Thursday. Despite the cancellation of the annual Santa Slam tournament, the wrestling coat drive is taking place through Dec. 18.

Tracy Tran, Photo Assignment Editor

In previous years, the Coppell wrestling team has had its annual Santa Slam tournament at the beginning of December, hosting wrestlers from many other states including Oklahoma and Arkansas. When coming to this tournament, wrestlers are encouraged to bring their coats and warm clothing for the wrestling coat drive.

This year, the tradition was changed. COVID-19 caused the wrestling season to be pushed back to the spring. However, the Coppell wrestling team’s coat drive is on.

“When we have a platform to help others, it’s our duty to do [the coat drive],” Coppell wrestling coach Chip Lowery said. “We have a large number of people in our wrestling team that care about others.”

Starting from the beginning of this month, Coppell wrestling coaches spread the word and had wrestlers collect coats for their seventh wrestling coat drive. Additionally, many CHS teachers and staff are also donating to the cause.

“Our teachers have really been pitching in every day,” Lowery said. “I get an email from a teacher saying ‘I got some stuff for you to come pick it up’ and we’ll send a wrestler to go get it or they’ll bring it down.”

The coat drive is an opportunity for the team to give back to the community before the upcoming winter break. All the coats and other clothes will be donated to the Austin Street Center, a homeless shelter in Dallas.

“[Austin Street Center] has a big footprint and the ability to get coats all across the Metroplex to areas in need,” Lowery said. “They are a well established program, and they have a very central hub to get all the items out all over the metro.”

During its first year hosting the drive, the team received one pickup truck full of coats, and the last five years, the team had two pickup trucks each year.

“The drive signifies how much we are giving back to the community,” Coppell senior wrestler Ananya Sampathkumar said. “It also shows that we care about other people during the time when they need us.”

The last day to donate the clothes is Dec. 18 and all the donations can be dropped off at the wrestling room in the CHS Indoor Facility.

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