OAKLAND (CBS SF) — With pre-season football upon us, Bay Area High School fields are busy with two a day practices, but in East Oakland, in one of the poorest neighborhoods, one coach is trying to raise a team with kids that often don’t see three meals a day.
27-year-old Ed Washington is a Castlemont High School grad who came back to coach a team that won two games last season; the three seasons before that, they won no games.
“How the hell am I supposed to raise an athlete when they not even getting food sometimes? If I know this is their one and only meal?”
He and Wide Receivers coach, former Oakland Mayoral Candidate and Port Commissioner Bryan Parker are running a crowdsourcing page to try and raise money to feed the football and swim teams and the cheer squad, many of whom come from single parent families with little in the cupboard.
“Coach, I need some money for school clothes, I don’t got no school clothes. Or Coach, I’m hungry can you bring some food? So I knew I had to find a way to feed them. My ultimate goal was three times a week”.
Now thanks to the fundraising page which expires on Sunday, he can offer the kids lunch and dinner hopefully four days a week. The gridiron grub practically a recruiting tool says starting quarterback Senior Joe Feo.
“Nachos, Hamburger Helper, spaghetti, teriyaki chicken, a lot of healthy choices,” Feo said.
Parker says the idea is to not only teach kids healthy eating options, but get them physically and mentally ready for hard work on and off the field.
“None of these kids are going to play college football but if we can get them to graduate they can go to a community college or a four year college and get their degrees and that’s the goal of every coach out here is to get these kids to the next level of school.”
If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser, click on this link: tilt.com/tilts/urgent-support-needed-for-castlemont-football