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Staples Soccer Players Rally Behind Teammate Struck By Tragedy

Staples High School soccer players work to remove sand from the front yard of teammate Sebo Hood's home on Soundview Drive near Compo Beach in Westport on Wednesday afternoon. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
Staples High School soccer players haul away wheelbarrels filled with sand from the front yard of teammate Sebo Hood's house Wednesday. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari
Members of the Staples High School freshman, junior varsity and varsity soccer teams got together Wednesday to clear tons of sand that was dumped on the front yard of teammate Sebo Hood's home during Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. – Like many families that live near Compo Beach in Westport, Staples High School junior Sebo Hood’s home on Soundview Drive was inundated by floodwaters and sand during Hurricane Sandy. Only four days before the storm, however, the Hood family dealt with a much more devastating tragedy: the death of Sebo’s older brother, Austin.

After hearing about Sebo’s personal loss and how his family’s home was hit hard by the storm, Staples High School varsity soccer player Charlie Leonard coordinated a cleanup at his teammate’s house Wednesday.

“I knew we had to come together as a team to help the family and help our friend,” said Charlie, a junior. During the storm, tons of sand was washed onto the Hood’s front yard. Charlie, with help of Staples soccer head coach Dan Woog, organized team members to help clear the sand from the yard.

“This was all Charlie’s idea. He let me know about it and I sent out a text to the players,” Woog said. “They responded very well. These are just awesome, fantastic kids.”

About 40 players, including members of the freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams, showed up at the Hood’s home late Wednesday morning. With shovels in hands, they filled wheelbarrels up with sand from the Hood’s front yard and carted it back across the street to the beach. Some friends and neighbors of the Hood family also pitched in.

Sebo, one of the captains of the junior varsity team, said he was overwhelmed by the response.

“I’m not really open with my emotions, but I’ve been walking around hugging people and saying ‘Thank you,’” Sebo said. “What more could you ask for more during a tough process? I’ve great friends, family and teammates. It makes dealing with something like this easier.”

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