ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — Four players from the University of Virginia football team spoke to students at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School on Thursday.
The players talked about the values they have learned as a UVA football player.
Offensive lineman Martin Weisz said getting to speak with kids is one of the best things about playing college football.
“Being able to use your platform and your voice to teach kids about your values and what you learn every day is a rewarding experience,” said Weisz.
The values they are teaching kids are some of the same ones that have led to the Wahoos starting the season 4-0.
“Total effort, making a masterpiece, believe, family first last and always, so some of these ones they’re more important ones than others,” said Weisz. “We try to tell them what they mean to us and how they affect us in our daily lives.”
He said the experience reminded him of when he was a kid and adults would speak to him and his classmates.
“As soon as I walked in, I was like, ‘take me back to my middle and elementary school days,'” he said. “I was hit with a bit of nostalgia. It came around full circle, I’m able to share my experience and to know what it is like in their shoes and now being able to share from my personal experience, it’s just like a great experience for me.”
For student Jaylene Nordstrom, she said having the players come and speak to her and her classmates is motivating.
“It was very inspiring to since I’m very athletic,” she said. “It feels like I have someone who actually cares, because actual famous people care about younger kids and have a mentor to look up to.”
Nordstrom is positive those values will translate to success in the classroom.
“I’m going to try and work hard and get all As and if I don’t, I’m going to just keep trying and trying and trying until eventually, I do,” said Nordstrom. “It might take my whole life, but I don’t care.”
That mentality is what the players hope to instill in the minds of the younger generation throughout the rest of their lives.
“If you plant a seed, that seed is going to grow into something beautiful and it’s going to allow them to be very successful later in their lives if they hold these values true to their hearts like we do,” said Weisz.
Students at the school and in the county are encouraged to do a 500-word essay about overcoming an obstacle to set a new standard for themselves.
One student from an elementary school, middle school and high school will be selected as winners, who will then get to take the field with the Wahoos during kickoff when the team faces Duke on Oct. 19.