Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:55 AM
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Samuel Ogle Middle School student Zionn Philbert catches a pass.
Published on: Thursday, November 01, 2012
By Daniel Kucin
Last Tuesday, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation hosted the Live Positively Flag Football Experience at Fed Ex Field.
The program, provided by Coca-Cola, drew more than 200 Prince George’s County middle school students who had the chance to play with professional football players. The Live Positively Pro- gram partnership’s goal is to fight childhood obesity and focus on creating a healthy lifestyle for all of the children in attendance.
At 11 a.m., the students were wide-eyed and excited to enter the South field tunnel of the stadium where the Washington Redskins enter the field for every home game. Benjamin Tasker and Samuel Ogle middle schools represented the Prince George’s County teams in the football clinic. They faced D.C. schools such as Hart and Stuart- Hobson middle schools.
The schools were split-up as the children patiently waited to see Brandon Banks, Joshua Morgan, Niles Paul and Stephen Bowen enter the stadium. Morgan, a metropolitan area native, spoke with all of the students, and they shortly assembled their teams.
Photo by Daniel Kucin. Washington Redskins receiver Joshua Morgan plays flag football at the Live Positively Flag Football Experience Oct. 23 at FedEx Field.
The rules for the game were slightly different than the children were used to playing. Each school had three attempts to make it to mid- field for a score and each contest was 20 minutes in length.
“Growing up as a kid I dreamed of being in a situation like this, and it shows you what can happen if you keep working hard,” said Bowen,Redskins defensive lineman. “I just talked to a young kid and he said he is good at football, but he wasn’t ap- plying himself in the classroom. So, I told him to get his stuff right and hopefully I can make a difference to someone like that.”
The competition was fierce for a friendly exhibition, and every child seemed to enjoy the experience. Each Redskins player was the designated quarterback for their respective teams, but they provided more than big plays on the field for these youngsters.
“This is extremely important and it kind of humbles me as a play- er to let the kids know that they have the same opportunities as we had, and it kind of gives them hope,” said Paul, Redskins tight end. “We want to be role models to these kids, and they look up to us.”