NAIA Champions of Character
NAIA Championship Game: A look back (Part 5 of 6)
“Go sit next to him,” Fincher told one student as she motioned him toward Anderson for a group picture. “He’s a real-life football player!”
Morningside and Marian University football players visited Model Elementary and Alto Park Elementary as part of the NAIA Champions of Character program. The program is designed to instill core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership in players and coaches.
“It’s awesome to go talk to these kids,” said Anderson. “Everyone down here is pretty nice too.”
The team also took to the gym where a lineup of students loudly pointed out how tall they were before taking them on in an elimination game of shootout basketball.
Fifth-grader Marlee Pelfrey smiled as she scored multiple baskets in a game against the players.
“It’s kind of fun beating them,” said Marlee. “Sometimes they beat us.”
At Alto Park Elementary, Marian University players listened to students’ stories and signed autographs.
Nine-year-old Brady Williams recited an original story he penned to seniors Kyle Fox and Michael Josifovski. In Becky Lucas’ art class, students crowded around junior Clifford Brown for autographs on sheets of wide-ruled notebook paper.
Model’s Fincher summed up the students’ reaction to the day of visits while she looked over her class crowding around the players.
“Just to have someone new come in, but especially because they were cool football players, they were really excited,” said Fincher.