CLEVELAND -- On Tuesday, several Browns players visited Central Middle School of Euclid, the winner of the team's annual Play 60 Fall Challenge.
CLEVELAND -- As part of the NFL Play 60 initiative, the Cleveland Browns visited the top school from their annual fall challenge, Central Middle School, and participated in a celebratory assembly, as well as a school-wide relay race on Tuesday afternoon.
Central Middle School had over 500 students sign up for the Browns' Fall Play 60 Challenge and the 28 students from the top class logged 135,275 minutes of physical activity through the six-week program.
"It's very important to hear the message from the players because they are on the field every Sunday for 60 minutes competing, giving it their all and the Browns encourage the kids to find something they love doing for 60 minutes and really excel at it for a healthy lifestyle," said Jenner Tekancic, director of community relations for the Browns. "By being here, we're showing the players are committed to the message of Play 60 and we hope the students will carry the message with them throughout the school year, into the summer and beyond."
Long-snapper ChristianYount, defensive back JohnsonBademosi, wide receiver Kevin Cone, and linebackers Keith Pough and Christian Kirksey joined the team's mascot, Chomps, at Central Middle School.
Pough got as much out of the experience as the students he visited. "Just the smiles on the kids' faces, they are always so excited to see us…It's always a humbling experience to give back," Pough said. "Coming from where I came from, there weren't too many athletes that came and visited my school and I promised myself when I was blessed to get to this level that I would always give back...these kids will never forget it for the rest of there life."
John Yuha, the fitness teacher at Central Middle School, led the school's Play 60 efforts by getting his students active in his class. He also said it helped that many of his students were involved in after school sports and activities, which he encouraged them to log. Yuha's students came into this Play 60 Challenge motivated to succeed after winning both the previous Spring and Fall Challenges. In total, the 585 students in Central's program logged 2,176,200 minutes (36,270 hours) of physical activity,
Central students Kendra Stephens and Joseph Janke were two of the top participants in the Browns Play 60 Fall Challenge, combining for over 24,000 minutes of physical activity during the six-week program. Both students will be recognized during the Dec. 7 Browns game against the Indianapolis Colts for being among the top eleven students, and will lead the team out of the home team tunnel and stand amongst the team for the National Anthem.
"Fuel Up to Play 60 is pleased to be a part of Cleveland Browns and the American Heart Association's Play 60 celebration at Central Middle School," said Jan Diamond, School Marketing Manager for American Dairy Association Mideast. "The American Dairy Association Mideast strives to create more opportunities for students to be healthy and physically active through Fuel Up to Play 60. Events like today demonstrate our joint commitment to improving the health and wellness of our youth."
The Cleveland Browns Play 60 Challenge is in partnership with American Heart Association, and in association with University Hospitals and the American Dairy Association Mideast and Fuel Up to Play 60.