Jackson High School kicker gives back despite injury

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JACKSON, Ohio (WOUB) — Jackson High School kicker Ethan Crabtree is working to get 82 coats into the hands of those in need this winter as part of his “Kicks for Coats” initiative, one for every field goal, extra point, and touchback he registered for the Ironmen in the 2021 season.  

Just before the start of two-a-day practices, Crabtree broke two of his vertebrate in a non-football related accident. This made him unavailable for the 2022 season, but he said the support he received from the community inspired him to give back.  

“I would say to get through that was [due to] friends, family, my football team, coaches, just a great community surrounding around me,” said Crabtree. ” I kind of came to the conclusion that if I have this great community surrounding me, then I need to give back to them for everything they’ve done for me the past few months, and everything they’ve done since I got here and started kicking.  

Here’s how it works: Those in need of a coat, or know someone in need, can visit the “Kicks for Coats” Facebook page and request one via Direct Message. Then, using donations from local companies and members of the community Crabtree buys the coats and delivers them personally if need be.  

“We’re here to help. If you’re sending us messages on Facebook, we get them to you,” he said. “I emailed all the elementary schools in our county to see if they needed coats and they’re getting back to me with how many coats they need, so were hoping to get them to the elementary kids that are in need and then keep moving through the rest of Jackson County.”  

Crabtree is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the Ironmen next year for his senior season. Until then, he can find solace in the fact that he is still very much a part of Jackson’s 2022 campaign, even if he can’t play on Friday nights. 

“When he started being able to do stuff for us on Friday nights, I told him ‘you’re basically the kicking coach,” said Jackson Head Coach Andy Hall. “We brought in Thatcher Brown, a soccer player who had never played football in his life … and he mentored him.”

Those looking to make a monetary donation to “Kicks for Coats” can do so through the organization’s PayPal. Those looking to help can also donate new or slightly used coats at the Jackson County Banking Center on McCarty Lane in Jackson, or at Total Media in the Stockmeister Plaza on Main Street, according to the organization’s Facebook page.