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Carmi Wrestlers Digging Out Most Vulnerable

The Carmi-White County High School wrestling team is hard at work digging out their community from this week's winter storm.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 6:15 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2021 7:06 PM

In the town of Carmi, winter left behind a big white blanket of snow. Some are fortunate to have snow blowers or strong back. But if they have neither, they call these guys.

"We've had a lot of people," said Berekashvili. "Yesterday we probably had about 30 to 35 houses. We could not get that done with the amount of people we had. Today we have at least 35 to 40, and probably, as the day goes on, we'll have more."

The Carmi-White County high school wrestling team, led by head coach Terry Gholson has swung into action, shoveling out driveways and walkways for donations, though many times without accepting any money at all. Especially considering their clientel.

"A lot of elderly people," said Gholson. "And just a lot of people that just need to get to work and can't get out. Widow ladies and just single moms and just people who just need help. We've got young strong backs. We can help."

"Most of the people we help are the elderly or the disabled," said Berekashvili. "People who can't do it on their own. And it's really a blessing to see their reaction. We're just helping people out. And that's what we like to do."

Of course a big part of this endeavor is the community-based help that these guys are giving. However, there's an extra added benefit in that the wrestling season hasn't even begun yet, thanks to coronavirus. It won't get going until April 19th. So by the time these guys are ready to attack the mat again, they'll be in pretty good shape.

"I got layers on," said Berekashvili. "I'm definitely building up a sweat."

"It's great exercise, get out here all day," said Gholson. "Can't tell you the number of phone calls I've had of people saying "I'm too old do this and can you guys come help".

And the reviews have been glowing.

"They're doing a good job," said Carmi resident Don White. "It's hard work and they're doing a great job."

"I'm getting texts after kids go and do it saying "What a great group of kids"," said Gholson. "I tell them "The parents have done their part on that"."

Though it's hard work, for Gholson's gang, it's what Carmi is all about.

"We're a pretty close-knit group of people," said Gholson. "The majority of the phone calls we get are people we already know. You don't have to ask for addresses. You say "We'll be there when we can get there."

"We're a small town," said Berekashvili. "We're a community. It's five thousand plus people, but we really just kind of know each other. We help each other out. That's what I think small town is all about."

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The fantastic weather continue as the 60s return.
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