While waiting for Thursday’s semifinals to begin, the eight teams in the NCAA Division II men’s and women’s soccer national championships took time out Wednesday to visit Columbia County schools and spent time with students.
The Carson-Newman University Eagles men’s team spent an hour with students and staff at Martinez Elementary School in the morning.
“I think it’s important for these guys to be involved and give back to the commmunity,” said Eagles’ head coach Richard Moodie. “We’ve got practice today and a banquet tonight, but I think the timing’s perfect for us to do it.”
Players read to students, sang and danced with them and fielded a myriad of questions in the process.
Senior midfielder Bryce Berry was smiling answering questions in Todd Shafer’s fifth-grade class and enjoyed the overall experience.
“We get so much as athletes, so it’s nice to give back as much as you can,” said Berry. “Just getting to take an hour out of our day to come down here has been awesome.”
Principal Wade White was glad his school was able to be involved in the community outreach.
“It was great to partner with the NCAA and Carson-Newman, those guys are a class act,” White said. “I just like my kids being around postive role models and these are role models my kids can look up to. We talk about study habits, we talk about discipline and responsibility and these guys are the epitome of that.”