Texas Tech players gathered for Peace on the East

Butler Park in Lubbock Aug. 29, 2020

It's an effort to promote unity not just in East Lubbock, but among our community. Texas Tech Athletics gathered at Butler Park Saturday afternoon to clean-up the area, mingle with young athletes and encourage others to register to vote. 

Some took to the court, while others took to the streets. Texas Tech athletes gathered in East Lubbock after its football team postponed its practices to join in national protests. 

But they weren't just taking a break - many were seen picking up trash and helping register voters. The inspiration behind the event focused on uniting and engaging with young athletes. 

"You know when our kids in our neighborhood get a chance to come out here and mingle with football players -- and many of them have aspirations of playing college athletics -- and for them to be able to see guys that come from the same background as they come from having some success is a good deal," Tony Wagner, head boy's basketball coach for Estacado, said. 

The team has seen support from coaches and staff, but even alumni showed up to back the Red Raiders. 

"So we decided that we we're going to come out and show these student-athletes that we're donors, we're alumni and we will continue to support this effort," Tech alumni and donor Mike Montanez Jr. said. 

Even though it's part of the team's effort in joining protests across the county, Coach Wagner believes the intention will stay with their young admirers. 

"Our kids, you know, they don't get a chance to see a lot of positivity when it comes to people in professional positions a lot in our neighborhood," he said. "So for them to be able to come out here and play and get to mingle and get to talk to guys who are very successful it's lets them know that they too can make the right decisions to have some of that success as well."

The team's expected to pick back up practices next week.

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