Hastings College golfers help in county tornado recovery efforts

Bronco Luke Valasek graduated from BHS


A Hastings College minibus sat on the side of County Road 33 near Lariat Lane last Saturday.

Broncos golf coach Skyler Good arrived on it with a group of 14 who helped with tornado recovery efforts for the day — just more than a week after the storm ripped through Washington County folks' homes. He said he was motivated to bring his golfers and a baseball player to help through his own experiences during a previous effort.

“I was apart of a rescue team, and baseball team at the time, that went down to Joplin, Mo., after their tornados went through,” Good said, referencing the 2011 storm that destroyed thousands of homes. “And it was just cool to see everybody coming together and helping out people whether you knew them or not.”

The experience left an impression he wanted for his own team more than a decade later.

“That was something I thought would be really cool for our program,” Good said.

Additionally, four members of the Hastings College golf programs hail from the area affected by the April 26 tornado. Cullen and Lauren Buscher, and Emma Foland, are all from Bennington, while freshman Luke Valasek graduated from Blair High School.

“Luke has been a great addition to the team,” Good explained. “Whether he's playing or not, he's been a great character to have around. The guys love having him around.”

None of his golfers were directly impacted by the storm, though.

“But it seems like they all know someone who was,” he noted.

The Broncos applied themselves across multiple damaged sites Saturday, but worked specifically on County Road 33, picking up debris alongside Troy Wakefield. The Washington County man was appreciative.

“If nothing else comes out of this storm, you're seeing community,” he said.

Wakefield noted how community and their newfound camaraderie are more valuable than the “stuff” his family has lost.

“(It's) not stuff you really wanted to part with,” he said. “But, again, community is created.”

Good believed working with people throughout the day in Washington County motivated his Hastings College athletes.

“I know one day with 14 people might not be much in the grand scheme of things,” the coach said, but, ultimately, he was content knowing his Broncos applied themselves and did something to help.