Football team workout helps auto parts store recover from fire

Friday, July 26, 2013
Members of McCook Senior High's Bison football team, along with some junior high team members, build new shelves for Schamel's NAPA Auto Parts Store in McCook, Nebraska. The NAPA store in the 200 block of West B was damaged in a fire at Fuller's Family Restaurant Saturday and Sunday, and NAPA will relocate a block north, to the 200 block of West C, in a former hardware and pet store. NAPA owners Richard and Debra Cappel are touched by offers of help from the Bison coaches and players. The Cappels' son, Sean, was a Bison football team member, graduating in 2004. He is a second lieutenant and pilot in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma. (Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette)

McCOOK, Nebraska -- The banging and clattering and clanging that echoes through an empty building in downtown McCook, Nebraska, will subside as the high school football team finishes building new shelves and an auto parts store relocates its inventory from its fire-damaged store a block south.

Debra Cappel, who, with her husband Richard, owns Schamel's NAPA Auto Parts, said Thursday morning that MHS football coaches Jeff Gross and Chad Lyons offered their and their team's help Sunday, the morning after the NAPA building was damaged by a fire at Fuller's Family Restaurant next door.

Debra and Richard are impressed and touched by help from the community as they regroup after the fire. "It's all about character, and community service," Richard said, talking over the construction sounds of new shelves going up in a former hardware and pet store a block north of the fire-damaged NAPA building. "It's not just about our business," he continued. "It's ultimately helping the community. The community depends on their vehicles to get to work, and where they need to go. The football team is providing a community service." He said, " ... think of the character, what the teachers and coaches are instilling in these kids."

Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Gazette

Debra said that Sehnert's Bakery, Cal Siegfried and Mindy Saalfeld have stepped in to help feed a team from NAPA, which is coming to help move inventory and restock shelves.

Debra said late Thursday that four MHS coaches -- Gross, Lyons, Gumb and Smock -- brought 48 players to help build shelves.

"It is hard to image that any other town could have as special a football program as ours," Debra said.

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