Oconee County high schools cleaning up the community

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OCONEE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Inaugural Litter Bowl Competition between Seneca, Walhalla, and West-Oak high schools ended Monday morning.

Jazmine Hughes and Lenae Ridge are members of Seneca’s cheerleading team. The pair admitted the sacrifice to get up and collect trash on their day off from school.

“I had to force myself to get out of the bed. But like,” Hughes said.

“We’re here!” Ridge exclaimed.

“I feel accomplished,” Hughes added.

Oconee County school district, Sheriff’s Office, and local nonprofit Palmetto Pride sponsored this year’s competition to see which school picked up the most trash on the roads around their school.

Although it is a competition, the school district’s goal, is unity is what Evie Hughes, the district’s Director of Students Services, Safety, & Security, added.  

Seneca High School Students

“Even though the kids go to separate high schools. I think today, they could feel like, they’re part of something together in this project of picking up trash,” Hughes said.

Student in grades 9 – 12 wore safety vests, gloves and armed with grabbers and garbage bags collected trash from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office provided safety support, with officers on site to slow traffic down in the pick-up areas.

Palmetto donated the garbage bags, grabbers and gloves to the students. Scott Morgan, the nonprofit’s Enforcement Program Manager, was also taking pictures of the student’s hard work.

“Just to hear that this is going on today. We want to be a part of it, to show our support for what they’re doing,” Morgan said.

Additionally the nonprofit will award t-shirts to the winning high school, which will be announced during half time at football game on November 1st.

Walhalla High School students, Oconee County Sheriff Deputy, and Palmetto Pride

The school that collects the most trash, which is measured by weight of the bags, will be declared the winner on Friday, November 1st.

Winners will also receive a Litter Bowl trophy during their respective football game’s halftime that Friday.

While the glory of winning will be great, students at West-Oak said the experience in general was worthwhile.

Sophomores, Tyler Robinson and Brooks Hale, and Senior Abby Alexander spoke to 7News about their experience.

“I would love to do it again. It just helps the community,” School Senator Robinson said.

“It’s good to get out and hang  with your friends clean up the side of the road,” Hale added.

Oconee County Sheriff Lt. Tommy Crompton with West-Oak High School students

“It’s nasty but it makes you feel like you’re doing a lot. Like a good difference for the community,” School Historian Alexander explained

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