It's easy to look up to the football players of Reynoldsburg High School. Not only are they large, looming guys who work hard and play hard, but they are helping some third and fourth grade boys at Herbert Mills Elementary School make better choices and setting examples for the youngsters on and off the field.
Principal Mary Ellen Weeks and Varsity Offensive Line Coach Robbie Brickner got together and started the program this year. A Senior football player and a HMES fourth grader are paired together and meet to talk about life, making good choices and getting good grades. There is one Junior in the mix as well so he can lead the next wave of upper classmen through the program next year.
"The boys love having their mentors," said Ms. Weeks. "Even after one visit, the impact these gentlemen have made on our students has been incredible."
Right away, when the group met for lunch, the football players check in with their third or fourth grader, ask how things are going and ask about situations that they discussed at the last visit. There's time for fun too, they draw, play games and have recess together.
"These players are all seniors, with good grades," said Coach Brickner. "We had a program like this when I was growing up and I just thought, who doesn't look up to football players at this age? It's been a huge success and the guys seem to really enjoy it as well."