Rivals come together for hurricane relief in Johnston County

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Tonight was Hurricane Matthew Relief Night for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The event brought rivals together to help others.

The Clayton Comets and the West Johnston Wildcats teamed up to help another rival, the South Johnston Trojans.

“It was kind of a good experience, but it was also kind of emotional.  I felt kind of sad that other people lost their families, and some lost their lives,” said Clayton junior offensive lineman Christian Clark, who delivered clothes, food and supplies to South Johnston.

Clayton coach Hunter Jenks used to coach there.

“Even though I’m not there, it’s still an important place to me, so if we can help out, that’s fantastic,” Jenks said.

The opposing team joined them in the delivery.

“It was good, being able to know that we got a game tonight, and understanding that we were doing was the game of life, a bigger picture thing. Even though we compete on Friday nights, we want to help all of our school mates,” said West Johnston head coach Jimmy Williams.

Jenks said the game can be a good escape for students.

“We always talk about dealing with life’s adversities.  As you get older, life gets more difficult. One of the things we talk about as a program is how to handle the bad things and how to handle the good things,” he said. “We were lucky on this part of the county, but farther east, they were not as lucky, so we just have to thank our blessings and move forward.

“I think football is a great escape for our students.  The three hours we’re at football, they can let everything else go by the side and focus on the game, because at the end of the day, football is a game.”

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