Putting the ‘phys’ in Fizz, Boom, Read!

Raiders help kick off summer reading program

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ELLERBE — More than two dozen Richmond County children thought they were going to an activity about books.

They arrived at Kemp Memorial Library on Second Street in Ellerbe with the idea that after a guest speaker did — well, something — they’d get to read. However, they didn’t know they’d have to do push-ups and plyometrics before turning a single page.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Raiders tight end Dalton Jenkins and three other players talked about the importance of teamwork.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Raiders tight end Dalton Jenkins and three other players talked about the importance of teamwork.

A brief class on the importance of physical fitness couldn’t be avoided as the guest speakers were four senior members of the Richmond Raiders football team. Tight ends Dalton Jenkins and Jequawn Wall, along with linebacker Gus Chamber and offensive lineman Chad Phillips briefed the children and their parents and caregivers on what it takes to be a Raider.

It ain’t easy.

“Becoming a football player doesn’t just happen overnight,” said children’s library programmer Deborah Knight. “It takes a lot of practice.”

Jenkins described how the players develop their speed during summer camp, going on this week, and how players within three different categories have to run at least four of seven attempts 300-meter dash within a certain time. Based largely on position, players have either 47 seconds, 52 seconds or 62 seconds to complete each time trial.

And if they don’t finish under that mark on at least four tries, the player is required to report to practice 30 minutes early the next day to try again. Knight said her nephew missed his mark and had to start at 8:30 a.m. today instead of 9 a.m.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Camden Williams, 6, of Ellerbe, is an all-around athlete who aspires to play one day for the Richmond Raiders football team.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Camden Williams, 6, of Ellerbe, is an all-around athlete who aspires to play one day for the Richmond Raiders football team.

“My nephew was not happy this morning,” said Knight, who drove him to practice at Richmond Senior High School. “He missed his time by three seconds.”

Jenkins said that staying in shape year-round is easier than falling out of, then working to get back in shape.

“To be a Raider, you gotta work real hard,” Jenkins said.

Wednesday’s event was the second of six scheduled summer reading programs at the Ellerbe library.

After the four players talked briefly about what it takes to be a Raider, the hours they practice and the food they eat — along with being able to show a few examples of what not to eat and drink, such as soda — and ensuring the youngsters that high school athletes need sleep more than time in front of the video game.

Then the players provided a practice exercise by leading the children to a patch of grass behind the library for some push-ups and plyometrics to warm-up tight, cold muscles.

The program went over well for parents and children alike despite a light rain that started to fall towards the end of the activity.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines

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