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Science Hill boy’s soccer building camaraderie, community with 22 initiative

2 much 2 live for

The Science Hill boys’ soccer team has had a busy off-season of conditioning. But they’ve been even busier spreading awareness about the importance of mental health.

During November, the boys’ soccer team took on an initiative to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. Each day, each team member completed 22 push-ups to show that they had “2 much 2 live for.” After completing their set, they would send the videos into a group chat. The videos were then posted to their Facebook page. 

The initiative was well-received by the soccer team, but even more so by the community. Videos featuring teachers, students, and administrators joining team members for push-ups were shared across social media. One video even features the Coastal Carolina football team, whose strength coach thought it was an important initiative to support after hearing about it from Science Hill graduate Luke Whitaker.

“I was so excited to see how many teachers, students, and administrators just jumped in with our team to bring attention to such an important initiative,” Science Hill Boys soccer coach David Strickland said. “We want to let people know that it’s okay to not be okay. Sometimes we just need to talk to someone, but we all have too much to live for.”

Science Hill senior Camden Davis said that his team was happy to accept the challenge of bringing awareness to mental health issues.

“We wanted to do this during November to support people who are having trouble with their mental health and let them know that it’s okay not to be okay,” Davis said. “It’s important to show other teammates and classmates that we are there to support them. We want to make sure they are taking care of themselves.”

Seeing so many people jump on board was really neat, according to Science Hill senior Carter Strode.

“It’s been really interesting,” Strode said through a smile. “People that I thought would never be willing to do push-ups are jumping on board after they hear us talk about it. It’s been great to see.”

Strode said that his dad even received a text from their pediatrician saying that he wanted to participate after seeing the videos on social media.

“We just want people to know that if you’re feeling depressed or alone, there is always someone out there for you and someone that will listen,” Strode said. “There is always someone who cares.”

Science Hill senior Kieran Yra said that the initiative has also served as a team-building exercise.

 “It’s awesome,” Yra said of the 22 initiative. “To see everyone stepping up on the team to be leaders, instead of just one or two people. It’s really raised the positivity around the team and our work ethic has really been taken to a new level with everyone on the same page and wanting the best for, and from, one another.”

While November is over, Strode said that he and his teammates plan to carry on with this important mission.

“This message is really important, and I don’t want it to just end here. I don’t think anyone wants it to end in this month,” Strode said. “I want it to be as big as it can possibly be and as long-lasting as it can possibly be. I want everyone to know that mental health is such a big issue, especially for teens. It is very important, and that is our main message here.”

His coach agreed.

“We never know who this conversation can positively affect,” Strickland said. “Hopefully us talking about it can let someone know that what they’re going through doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with them. They are just having a tough time. And we will be there to help and listen.”

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