Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Middle school football players clean up - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Middle school football players clean up

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Saturday was no ordinary day for the Riverview Middle School football team. Players spent the day sweeping, raking, and dumping trash in a new effort to crush blight in Memphis.

Coach Michael Saunders made the rounds with his team through the Riverview-Kansas community.

"We're tired of everywhere we go, we're seeing all this trash around the community," he said.

Riverview player Tyris Milam agreed.  "I like to see everybody out here as a group trying to do better for Memphis," he said.

Studies show cleaner communities are safer communities.

"Maybe if they see us picking up trash, they'll come out picking up trash," coach Jeremiah Blanchard said.

And residents did.  As a store owner took out his own broom, neighbors said they felt a boost.

"It's just a thrill knowing that we've got someone out here that cares for the community," neighbor Marylin Scott said.

Not only was the cleaning good for the community, Milam said, it was good for his team.

"If we could spend more time with each other we could learn how to connect with each other, talk with each other better.," he said. "You know, clean up."

"They think just because where we live at we can't make a difference," Blanchard said. "I'm pretty sure people like in Orange Mound and other places, they'll think about it."

In the end, Saunders said, the clean-up was good for all involved.
"(We) try to tell our team that there's more to life than just coming out here just walking up and down the street," he said. "When you see things like this, you just have to do something about it."

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