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Washington Redskins teach life lessons to county student-athletes


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Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Alfred Morris spoke with high school students at the 4th & Life High School Football Forum.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Alfred Morris spoke with high school students at the 4th & Life High School Football Forum.

Published on: Tuesday, October 15, 2013

By Daniel Kucin Jr.

Current and former Washington Redskin football players took the time to meet with nearly 500 high school student-athletes and coaches during the 4th & Life High School Football forum Oct. 8 at FedEx Field in Landover.

The goal of the forum was to empower young football stars to give them the tools needed to succeed in life on or off the field.

Coca-Cola sponsored the event, and the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation created an environment that was intimate and engaging for everyone to enjoy with Rick “Doc” Walker as master of ceremonies.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Gwynn Park lineman Romello Van Dyke has a laugh with Rick “Doc” Walker on stage.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. Gwynn Park lineman Romello Van Dyke has a laugh with Rick “Doc” Walker on stage.

“I wish we could do this more often, and I wish we could do it with a smaller group so it could be more interactive,” Walker said. “To me, nothing beats this.”

Walker added that the event “is always about getting everybody involved.”

“I want to get their opinion, and I want them to be a part of it. Nobody wants to be lectured to and it has to be fun,” he said. “They have to be accountable, and they have to make good decisions. And, they have to focus on their academics as well as athletics.”

One of the goals of the 4th & Life program is to prepare students for the future after they finish playing football.

Walker spoke with the students and told them about the life-changing experiences that happened in his life and how he used those situations as motivation to become a better person.

An important message that the forum panel delivered to the students was: there is more to life than football.

Washington Redskins stars Joshua Morgan, Josh Wilson, Alfred Morris and Darrel Young spoke with the high school students to give them some perspective on what hard work and dedication can do.

“Through sports, scholar-athletes learn lessons about principles — commitment, teamwork, preparation, etc. — that they can apply in everyday life,” said Michael Golder, vice president for sales of Maryland Market Unit of Coca-Cola Refreshments.

“The 4th & Life program highlights these lessons in a real and powerful way through the voices of professional athletes,” Golder added. “Bringing scholar-athletes together with some of their favorite Redskins players sets the stage for an exciting day of learning, fun and inspiration.”

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