Treylon Hawkins’ height and lean frame is a plus on the football field in his role as a wide receiver and cornerback. His height puts him farther away from the bumper of a Toyota Prius, but he made the adjustments needed to get that job done when he and his teammates spent most of their Saturday washing cars Oct. 5.
The Slaughter Community Charter School varsity football team held the off-field fundraiser in hopes that it would help their on-field performance. Proceeds from the carwash will be used to purchase video equipment, but offensive coordinator and assistant coach Michael Odendahl said he feels the effort will also help his players work as a team and become well-rounded individuals.
“They will develop a sense of teamwork and ownership to the program,” he said. “Getting them involved in things like this makes it player-centered and they are the center of it.”
The football program is in its fourth year at the charter school that opened its doors in 2011. The Slaughter charter was approved by the East Feliciana Parish School Board in 2009. The school opened its doors to seventh and eighth graders and added more grades a year until it had grades seven through 12.
Odendahl has been on staff at Slaughter for the past two years but has worked in high school athletics for 27 years. Before joining the staff as an assistant coach and special education staff member, Odendahl worked at East Feliciana High School.
The football program is in its infancy and competes in Class 1A. The team has seen some success making it to the second round of the state football playoffs last year before ending their campaign to the Dome with a loss to Oak Grove High School.
The coaching staff hopes to build on that progress with an endzone camera. Odendahl said that piece of equipment will provide an elevated view of plays from behind the action instead of just from the sidelines at ground level. “It will give them some advantages of other high school football teams,” he said.
“It’s important to a program that’s trying to move up,” Odenhahl said of the equipment. “It’s rare for a 1A school of our age, being a young program, to have that type of equipment, and it will boost our ability to get to where those big schools are; it’s going to be very beneficial. We are trying to get things that these big programs have so we can get to that point.”
A squad of 20 players turned out to wash cars in the fundraiser. Odendahl was thrilled that the fundraiser exceeded its $500 goal and brought in more than $630 before the event was cut short by storm clouds.