The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 30, 2014

East Limestone football players lend a hand

By Jonathan Deal

— When Telly Marks heard about that his relatives’ homes were destroyed in Western Limestone County, he didn’t hesitate to lend a hand.

The first tornado that touched down in the Coxey community Monday afternoon destroyed his cousin’s apartment and uncle’s trailer. Like many others living in or near Lehigh Trailer Court, the Marks homes were nearly leveled in a matter of seconds.

“We found out last night. We heard about the tornados coming through and called them,” said Marks. “My cousin was just crying because their house was hit and (they ) lost everything. Everything was completely destroyed. We went to help cleanup and salvage what we could.”

Marks didn’t go alone.

The East Limestone sophomore football player brought four of his fellow teammates with him to help cleanup.

“Some of my friends heard about it, and they wanted to come out there and help us,” said Marks. “It was amazing to see. We knew it was bad, but we didn’t know it was that bad.”

The East football players arrived early in the morning to find the trailer court leveled. The roof of his cousins’ apartment was ripped off and nearly 2 inches of water poured in overnight.

“We were able to go through my cousin’s apartment and salvage most of his clothes,” said Marks. “We were only able to salvage a couple of things from my uncle’s house. His trailer was completely destroyed.”

Among the debris was a German Shepherd named Lady, who belonged to the family of two people killed during Monday’s storm. One of the football players with Marks, Nathan McCune, offered to take care of the dog until relatives of the family make arrangements.

Marks, McCune and Corey Rogers are sophomores at East Limestone while Landon Laxson and Alvin Hopkins are juniors.