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'These are friends and they are neighbors'

By JOE CENTERS • Apr 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM

GANGES — Members of the Plymouth High School baseball and softball teams were supposed to be on the field Monday afternoon in Collins taking on the Western Reserve Roughriders.

Instead, they were in Ganges helping out friends and neighbors following Sunday’s devastating storms that ripped through Richland County, just southeast of Shiloh. The town took a solid hit from the storm, but nothing like Shelby did to the south.

There were a number of downed trees and some roof damage, but it could have been much worse for the small community.

“Considering our community was devastated last evening we decided to take our practice time — since our game was canceled — and contribute back to our community,” Plymouth softball coach Tracy Arnold said. “Our whole team is here. ... We are going to give back.

“There are students who live out in this area who do attend Plymouth schools. (There’s) a lot of damage. We are trying to scatter and find as much as we can do and spend some time out here helping them.”

There were a lot of people helping out. Among the other groups helping were the football team and FFA.

“The baseball team is out here,” Arnold said. “The softball team is out here and I’m sure other groups that are out here right now I am not aware of.”

The Big Red are scheduled to return to the field today when they host Western Reserve in Firelands Conference action.

“As you can see, trees are down,” said one woman as she helped get the volunteers into the right spots. “If you look down there by the cemetery, that was a full grove of pine trees. It just chopped them off in the center. There are roofs down around here. It looks like surface damage but there is more than that. ... You can see where a grain bin has actually folded in. Mostly trees but it all has to be taken care of.”

What does it mean to the community to get this kind of help?

“It’s awesome,” the woman said. “I don’t live in Ganges anymore. I used to live here. But this is family. These are friends and they are neighbors. That’s what we are here to do, to help them. ... When they need help, we are helping.”

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