The Edna Karr football team could have been going through football conditioning drills Friday evening.
Instead, the team took time away from lifting weights in the weight room and used that time to pick up trash in the Algiers community.
“I want our guys to value community,” Karr coach Nathaniel Jones said. “It’s important that they give back and not just take. Being a little older and having been different places, I understand the value of my own community now more than I did when I was there age. I just want them to understand that it’s bigger than just you. That’s been the theme we have been talking about all year.”
Jones, set to begin his second season at Karr, was out there with his players as cars traveling up and down busy General Degaulle Drive honked their horns and waved at the players.
“We come from a generation where it’s all about Facebook and Instagram, and a lot of times kids don’t see the value of doing something for someone else,” Jones said. “So that was the idea behind this.”
Karr defensive end Isaiah Washington, who has verbally committed to LSU, admits he wasn’t quite sold on the idea at first.
“It was Friday so I would rather practice,” Washington said. “But we represent Algiers and New Orleans, so coming out here picking up trash just shows we care about our community.
We can travel to Shreveport or Texas or anywhere and no matter what the community comes and supports us. So this is a way we can give back. This shows how much pride we have for not only Karr, but New Orleans period. We don’t want them to just pay their money to come see us play, we also want to give back to them. We live here, we breathe here. The kids who are the future of Karr are riding by and looking at us.”
Washington and the Karr football team will begin its quest for a fifth consecutive trip to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Monday when it holds its first official practice.
The team is replacing almost all of its key players from last season’s team that lost to East Jefferson in an all-New Orleans area Class 4A state championship game. But despite the inexperience, Jones said he likes this year’s team.
“They are willing to do stuff like this (clean up),” Jones said. “They are a team. That’s why I think we have a shot. If you are about your teammates more than about yourself, you’ll have a shot. Most of these guys played in some capacity last year. The only difference is they were more in backup roles and special team roles. So when you talk about lettermen, we have a lot back. What we are doing today teaches them lessons that will help in life as well as football. At some point, you are going to have sacrifice self for the team.”