Corey Fields’ athleticism on the gridiron got him out of trouble on plenty occasions this past football season.
On Thursday, his golden heart may have made a local child’s Christmas.
Having exceeded the $100 on a gift card, the Baptist Hill quarterback took from his own pocket to make sure the area youth could pay for items left in his shopping cart.
“He wanted some toys, shoes and jackets … but mostly toys,” Fields said. “So we got him some, even though it was over the limit. It didn’t matter because it is Christmas … why not have a good time and enjoy Christmas.
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“It brings a lot of joy because as a kid, you always want everything you wanted. You try to ask for it, you may not get it so you’re a little sad. But since I’m able to (help), it makes me happier.”
Football brought them to the beach, but those participating in the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North-South Bowl offered a bit of holiday cheer on Thursday, escorting area elementary school students on a shopping spree.
“It was great ... taking the kids around, seeing the smiles on their faces and stuff like that,” said Seneca’s Coleman Smith. “They just like running around and getting stuff.”
Each year, 88 of the state’s top players are selected for the game. In addition to practices, meals and meetings, the group also engages in recreational activities during the week.
When I was younger, I used to look up to players I thought were real good and wanted to be like them. Like I followed in their footsteps, I want the little ones to follow in our footsteps when we get older.
Woodland defensive lineman Toby Summers
College scouts also flock in droves during the week, hoping to pluck a player or two for their school.
According to organizers, the goal is to create a bowl-like experience for players. Kept on the go for the better part of the week, a “Fun Night” offers them time for lively conversation and competitive games of bowling.
Said Touchstone Energy Cooperatives North-South Bowl co-director Scott Earley: “We try to go a lot of places, do a lot of things. … Whether it be community service involved or competitive, fun and entertainment, we try to give them the whole experience and hope the playability of the game is good on Saturday.”
Yet Thursday’s shopping spree allowed players to put things in context, particularly knowledge football provides them a platform to positively influence the youth.
“When I was younger, I used to look up to players I thought were real good and wanted to be like them,” said Woodland standout Toby Summers. “Like I followed in their footsteps, I want the little ones to follow in our footsteps when we get older.”