Footage from a drone above Putnam County, Tennessee shows the devastation caused by a tornado that ripped through the area on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Tennessee Tech’s athletes joined the recovery effort in Putnam County, which was devastated by Tuesday’s tornado.
The school’s president Phil Oldham closed the campus Wednesday to allow students and staff to help in the recovery effort.
The JumboTron on the school’s football field displayed the message: “Cookeville Strong: There’s Only One.”
Nearly every Golden Eagle sports team went into the community to provide goods and supplies, clean up debris and helped those affected by the storms in other ways.
► More: In Putnam County, tornado’s deadly devastation ‘literally unbelievable’
Members of the teams also worked on their own fields cleaning debris.
“Community service is something we promote highly to our student-athletes,” Tech athletics director Mark Wilson said. “While they are here at Tennessee Tech, this is their home, their family, their community. From all the different walks of life represented by our programs, Cookeville, the Upper Cumberland and Tennessee Tech means so much to them.”
The football team helped unload trucks at Double Springs Church of Christ and remove debris at Prosperity Point.
The volleyball team donated blood and cleaned up at several sites.
► More: How to help Putnam County tornado relief efforts
The men’s basketball team gathered supplies at the Cookeville Community Center and the golf, soccer, softball, track and field, and cross country teams also removed debris from various sites.
Tech’s women’s basketball team will wearing “CKVL — We rise by lifting others” shirts during the pregame at Thursday’s Ohio Valley Conference tournament in Evansville, Indiana to raise awareness for the relief efforts, as well as a ribbon to remember those affected by the storm.
Tech plays Southeast Missouri at 3 p.m. at Ford Center in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.