Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weatherspoon Visits 6th Graders

By Frank Reddy

LILBURN -- Kenney Wells was sitting in class with fellow sixth graders more than 30 years ago, when one of his favorite football players walked through the door.

"I remember Elois Grooms came out to the school and talked to us, and I remember the things he said to us," Wells said. "He told us about perseverance. I had never heard that word before, and as I got older, I reflected back on what he said to me."

Much like the number 78 emblazoned across the former defensive end's black and gold jersey, the memory is stamped in Wells' mind. The details still come back easily. The Berkmar principal said he hoped that students at the middle school would one day have similar recollections of the visit Tuesday from Atlanta Falcons players.

As part of an initiative that encourages young people to participate in fitness activities and lead healthy lifestyles, gridiron gladiators like Sean Weatherspoon showed up in the school's gym, much to the excitement of many sixth-graders.

Twelve-year-olds Daisha Overton and Joshua Ramdin, for instance, said they were thrilled to meet the athletes, and that "they're even bigger in person than on TV."

Like hundreds of other fellow Berkmar students, Overton and Ramdin, joked, tossed the pigskin, danced around the gym and listened intently to what the football players had to say about the importance of staying fit, eating healthy and having good hygiene.

Weatherspoon said he volunteered for the event because "it's such a great cause. Even though it's my day off, I would much rather spend it with the kids. I'm real big on Play 60 and what's being done with that."


Click here to