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The season of giving is ‘bigger than the game’ for Fulshear

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Charged up with Christmas Sprit

Fulshear High school football and cheerleading team members pictured at the Walmart in Fulshear earlier this month, buying gifts for the Chargers' Giving Tree. 

The Fulshear High School student council puts together an annual Giving Tree, a community service to help those who need gifts during the holiday season. This year the Chargers were able to give presents to 23 families throughout the Lamar Consolidated ISD community. 

Charger staff members, clubs, organizations and students helped by donating gifts or donating their time to help wrap presents earlier this month. 

Two groups at Fulshear,  the Charger football and cheerleading teams, took it a step further and wanted to help add to the Christmas spirit by shopping for the Giving Tree. 

Head coaches Nicholas Codutti and Tara Smith organized a trip at the Fulshear Walmart to buy gifts earlier this month. 

“It is our first year here, and we wanted to make a whole endeavor out of it,” Codutti said. “We didn't want to bring attention to us, but to understand that life is bigger than a game.

“It was pretty cool, the giving tree gave us 75 kids inside LCISD and were basically able to give them a Christmas.” 

A group of teenagers walked the aisles of Walmart, checking off the Christmas lists of children they didn’t know. 

“Our kids got a chance to see that our people live a different life than they do,” Codutti said. “And we were able to make an impact on that.” 

Chargers offensive coordinator Dillen Ashton said the kids were cautious at first when picking out gifts, but they were quickly off and running. 

“Seeing the excitement in their eyes about buying the gifts for those kids made me incredibly proud to say I am their coach,” Ashton said. “We want the community to know that we are here for them no matter what. As a staff, it is important to us to show our kids the gift of giving and how important it is to help those in need.” 

The opportunity to give back has always been significant for first-team all-district tight end Gavin Waits. 

“Christmas time has always been special to my family and me,” Waits said. “It's a time for coming together and giving. 

“It meant a lot to me to be put in the leadership role from our coaches to help us show the community and the students of LCISD the real meaning of Christmas.”

Cheerleader Sydney Heikkila was grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community. 

“It was extremely eye-opening to be a part of giving back firsthand,” Heikkila said. The trip that Coach Codutti, Coach Ashton, and Coach Smith orchestrated was so heartwarming because we got the chance to better the Christmases that these families will have. 

“I am so blessed with everything that God has provided me with, and I’m so glad that the Fulshear organization was able to give back.”

Coach Codutti is in his first season at Fulshear, and the Chargers coaching staff have worked on building a new culture on the purple track. The work off the football field is equally important to that task. 

“We try to preach that we are family and ‘We are Fulshear’, and the whole that we do is bigger than a game,” Codutti said. “It is about relationships, being a better person, and it’s about helping because you never know when you’re going to need that help.

“I’m really proud of our kids; they got really excited about it. They started putting in their own money to buy more gifts, even though we asked them not to. 

“It was a blast, and it’s fun to watch kids giving back to others.” 

The new message resonates with players like all-district first-team wide receiver Jax Medica. 

“It feels great to be able to give back to others during this time,” Medica said. “The ‘family’ atmosphere that football coach Codutti has built has made us realize it is more than just a game. It has helped me realize that there is always a bigger purpose no matter the team's success or my success during the season.” 

The spirit of Christmas comes from giving joy rather than the joy we get from gifts. A lesson taught well by the Charger family at Fulshear. 

“That is the beautiful thing about Fulshear,” Codutti said. “We are our own community, and we get the opportunity to do things for it.”

Follow Fort Bend Herald sports editor Ryan Dunsmore on Twitter at @duns_more for game updates. Follow the Herald sports department on Twitter at @fbheraldsports, Facebook and Instagram at Fort Bend Herald Sports. 

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