Being a part of high school athletics isn't always just about the sport, and a group of Oneida athletes understand that.

Coach Phil Newport took over the girls soccer team this year in the middle of the season and took them to the program's first region championship.

"He just really stepped in when our team was at a difficult time and took over and took us places that no other Oneida team has made it to," said Oneida junior Madi Keeton.

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He also joined the boys program as an assistant, and helped them to their first region championship appearance as well.

But, when Coach Newport needed an upgrade for the cochlear implant that helps him hear and communicate, the teams saw an opportunity to help their coach.

"We ended up raising about $370," said freshman Danner Keeton.

A group text was sent out and the teams pulled their own money together to help with the expense.

"Phil's really special to us, we just thought of a way to give back to him," Danner added.

"He has a relationship with all the players, it's not just soccer. He makes sure that he knows us and takes part in our lives and if we need anything we know we can count on him." said Oneida senior Madison Dunlap.

In their final regular season game, the players presented cards with money to their coach, a gesture out love, and to Coach Newport, it wasn't about the money.

"I tried to make light of the moment, I told them I wasn't going to cry, and I was pretty solid for the longest time," said Coach Newport. "I do want to know how important it was for me that they thought that much of me. The kids are special, that's the bottom line."

Coach Newport has had the upgraded implant for about a week and it's made a huge difference.

"It's a life changer," said Oneida boys head soccer coach, Derek Keeton. "I just can't tell you what it means to all of us and of course you see now the kids."

"It made us feel like we weren't the boys soccer team and girls soccer team," said Madison Dunlap. "It was like we were one big group that came together to do something really special for someone we really care about."