by Josh P. Crotzer
Perhaps it was the matching gray athletic wear, but Lily Davis had little appreciation for her helpers’ sense of style.
“They don’t know fashion,” says Davis. “They don’t have any style.”
Still, the fifth grader had to appreciate that two of the best high school football players in the state were with her for a Christmas shopping spree at her local Target store. Greenwood High School offensive lineman A.J. Ross and Dutch Fork High defensive end Terrance Wells helped her score some clothes, a jacket and 500-piece puzzle.
Ross was among 88 all-stars selected to play in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Bowl. Each year in early December, on the Thursday before the game, 44 deserving elementary school students are matched with players from each team and the groups are equipped with a curated list of items that include a mix of the child’s needs and wants and a $150 gift card provided by the electric cooperatives.
“It was a great experience to go through,” says Shaheem Robbs, a running back from Belton-Honea Path High School. “I loved seeing the kids smile.”
South Carolina’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives sponsor the bowl game not only to recognize local players for their athletic ability, but for their character on and off the field.
The shopping spree was part of a full week of experiences for the players. The night before the game, the players were given the opportunity to take a tethered ride in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives hot air balloon. They also got to explore careers as lineworkers through hands-on demonstrations presented by a crew from Horry Electric Cooperative.
The South team won the game 28–8.