Alma's Conner Stacy, teammates help pick up the pieces after storm shook up River Valley area

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier
Brilee White (from left), Anthony Garcia, Logan Johnson, Zane Hulburt, Ethan Thrift, and Nathan Smith take a small break after helping the Alma community remove trees and limbs that fell after a storm swept through the community back in May.

Alma's Conner Stacy has stayed busy so far this summer.

He's either at football or basketball practice. Also, Stacy is attending team camps and participating in 7-on-7 tournaments, and the rising senior has been visiting various colleges to help plan for his future.

But back in early May, he was a different kind of busy. 

After a storm system swept through the River Valley area, Stacy felt he had to make a difference.

"We just wanted to provide a little light at the end of the tunnel in helping others," Stacy said. "There's a lot of negativity in the world, and we wanted to be that light. I didn't feel it was special, but we were called to do it and to give back to the community that has been good to us and supported us. This wasn't done for publicity. We just wanted to help our neighbors."

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Alma football coach Rusty Bush was at home during the storm, with no power, watching trees bend from severe wind.

He got a call from Stacy asking if they should organize something to help with the aftermath. Bush told him to get through the night and start on it in the morning. But Stacy couldn't just stand by that long.

Brady Noyes (from left), Landon Burkhart, Devin Poole, Trenton Thompson, Levi Burkhart, Joe Trusty, and Conner Stacy take a small break after helping the Alma community remove trees and limbs that fell after a storm swept through the community back in May.

"My power was out, so I figured we weren't going to have school the next day," Stacy said. "A few other guys and I wanted to help people. Even if we had school, we planned to help them before classes started. So if we were going to have a practice that day, I asked the coach if it was OK we could leave early."

Stacy had recruited around 20 of his classmates and teammates. Many brought tools to help clear away the fallen trees and limbs. As the morning progressed, they received calls from other people who needed help.

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Stacy and the others tried to help as many as they could and were getting requests to assist others and do as much as possible before school was back in session.

"Helping out the community is something my family has always done," Stacy said. "You never know when something is going to happen to you. If you help this guy or this lady, when you need help, you'll receive it."

Bush was helping another coach, who had some storm damage, when he was hit with a barrage of calls, text messages and emails.

"These guys love Alma and love putting on the uniform to represent Alma," Bush said. "The community has been 100% supportive over the years to the school and its students, and they just wanted some way to pay it back. So it meant a lot to me to see these guys go out and help their community, but even more so because they took it upon themselves to do this."