The Bucs stop here; Williston Middle named a 'Super School'
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
WILLISTON — Britton Hall scampered through a running drill as his schoolmates cheered him on.
He dashed around cones and approached a hurdle at full speed, poised to clear it.
The 14-year-old quarterback for the Williston Middle School Red Devils crashed to the ground with the hurdle as he tried to make it over, climbing back up to his feet a moment later.
“I’m good!” he said, smiling.
Britton was one of 50 students at Williston Middle who got to participate Friday in running, passing and catching drills as part of the NFL’s Play 60 campaign. Members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers presented the school with a check representing a $10,000 grant for being a Play 60 Super School.
Linebacker Dekoda Watson, kicker Connor Barth and punter Michael Koenen were greeted with cheers when they arrived in the morning as the student body, many dressed in red and holding signs of support, showed their Buccaneer spirit for the players.
The whole school filled the cafeteria, where players spoke about the importance of staying active and studying.
“If you can keep your grades up, you can do anything you want,” Watson said.
Fifty kids were chosen from different grade levels to participate in different drills run by the players.
Physical education coach Trent Viau said the students were nominated by their teachers for their behavior, grades and enthusiasm for PE.
Viau and Principal Pamela Asbell said the grant money will be used to buy more basketball hoops for the gym, a new batting cage net and other athletic equipment.
“(Viau’s) going to be methodical with the way he spends the money,” Asbell said.
Watson said he felt at home in Williston, which reminded him of his hometown of Aiken, S.C.
“I’m a country boy,” he said.
He led a running and catching drill at one station on the school’s field, while Barth and Koenen led others.
After all students got to participate at all stations, everyone went inside for a game of dodgeball, which had players and students sidestepping, diving and laughing throughout.
Barth later said he loved seeing the students get active and having fun while they’re at it, noting that hearing from some NFL players might help encourage them.
“It’s probably better to hear it from us than to always hear it from their teachers,” he said.
Contact Joey Flechas at 338-3166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.