Walnut Grove High School community rallies around former coach battling illness

Photo courtesy of GoFundMe

In 2017 when Coach Ben Reaves, aka Caleb Reaves, retired from Walnut Grove High School, he was credited with being the most successful coach in the school’s 9-year history. After coaching at Putnam County, Newton and Social Circle, Reaves joined WGHS in 2013 as the young school’s third coach. According to the Walton Tribune, by 2016, he was able to take them to Grady for the Warriors’ first-ever playoff appearance. He was credited with being able to rally the players and give the team an identity. He returned to coach part-time at Social Circle after his retirement from Walton County.

But now Reaves is in need of the community to rally around and support him. He recently collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where he has been diagnosed with bleeding on the brain. He is reported to be battling the illness with his usual determination and fighting spirit, but his medical journey is expensive and has put a financial strain on his family.

AJ Nugent, who calls Reaves a mentor and a friend, has started a Gofundme page to help raise money to assist the coach in his time of need.

“We are reaching out to you today to rally support for a remarkable individual who has touched the lives of countless young men as a devoted coach and mentor. Coach Reaves, a loving father,grandfather,husband, and brother, has dedicated his life to guiding and inspiring others. Now, in his time of need, its our turn to give back,” Nugent wrote on the Gofundme page. “We come together today, united by the gratitude we feel for Coach Reaves unwavering commitment to our community’s young athletes. He has been instrumental in shaping the lives of countless individuals, installing in them not only the skills to excel in football but also the values and qualities that transform boys into responsible adults.”

Nugent says Reaves’ insurance coverage falls short of the astronomical medical bills he now faces and asks former students who consider Reaves a mentor to help ease the financial burden and enable him to focus on his recovery. Any contribution, no matter how small, will help.

“Please join us in showing our gratitude to Coach Reaves and provide him with the support he deserves. Let’s come together as a community to give back to Coach who has given so much to us,” Nugent said.

The GoFundme for Coach Reaves can be found at this link.

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