Coaches, players help unload pumpkins for community fundraiser.

Passing out assists is a big part of every successful basketball team. The same can be said of soccer.

This October, however, basketball and soccer players from Abilene High and Cooper High dished out different kinds of assists.

AHS CHS girls basketball

AHS girls soccer

AHS men’s basketball

Abilene High boys and girls basketball teams, the AHS girls soccer team and the Cooper High girls basketball team came together to help the annual Disability Resource Center Pumpkin Patch. The coaches and players of the four teams help unload approximately 1,000 pumpkins from trucks as part of the annual fundraising effort for DRI.

Coaches for the four AISD athletic teams planned the project to help DRI and teach their young players the value of giving back to the community.

“It is such an honor to get to work with the DRI community,” said Terri Aston, the AHS women’s basketball coach. “We as coaches are teaching our athletes how to give back to the Abilene community. There is no better way to give back then to be helping the DRI community. We feel blessed that our kids get to learn how to work hard with others and are surrounded by the DRI adults who we all adore.”

Other AISD coaches participating with their teams were Don Heseman (Eagle basketball), Brent Camp (Lady Eagles soccer) and Lauren Ash (Lady Cougars basketball).

Each year, the DRI Pumpkin Patch raises money for the non-profit center during the month of October. Visitors can purchase pumpkins and other items, take a hayride and have their picture taken at several photo boards. More than 13,000 visitors and 70 school groups participate each year.