HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Sam Houston State volleyball’s work in the community is not limited to the holiday season; however since the squad wrapped up play in November, they have been plenty active.

The Bearkats recently completed a book drive in conjunction with Huntsville Intermediate called ‘Bearkats4Books.’ Through its efforts, the program collected 300 books, all of which were donated to the school’s library and presented to Huntsville Intermediate’s Student Council.

“When we visited with (Sam Houston athletics promotions team member) Marissa Maas, who was on the volleyball team at LSU, we wanted to know what they did community service wise,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “It was something we thought we could add. She offered to decorate the boxes and get the word out. My daughter, Tayler, was able to get her classes to get on board and our parents gave books as well. It was a great idea.”

The books, which were presented to Huntsville Intermediate on Thursday, were collected at home games throughout the season. The effort is just one example the Kats have been involved in locally including a canned food drive.

“I live in this town and my doctors are all in this town,” Gray said. “I have raised my family in this town. I think giving back to the community that has given me so much is huge. We help the animal shelter, the Good Shepherd Mission, and our list is endless. I think community service is huge.”

The team also adopted Bearkat Boulevard 25 years ago, a road which it still keeps up with today. To back the program’s effort, both on and off the court, fans are encouraged to donate to the Bearkat Champions Fund, which enhances athletics’ 400-plus student athletes.