Mavs’ visit to Chipeta Elementary makes kids’ day

Colorado Mesa’s Tyler Winder plays catch Wednesday with some students at Chipeta Elementary School. Winder and four other Mavs were at the school for Chipeta’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support assembly.

Zach Adair suggested 11-year-old Riley McCann kick the big football.

“I want to see how far you can kick it,” Adair said.

“I already did,” said McCann, who quickly changed the subject.

“I write with my right, but I kick with my left,” McCann continued. “I shoot with my left and hit with my right.”

That was one of many conversations Colorado Mesa University football players had with Chipeta Elementary School students on Wednesday afternoon during Chipeta’s Positive Behavior Intervention Support assembly.

Adair, Domonique Lewis, Travis McRae, Nathan Neville and Tyler Winder hung out with the children during recess, then answered questions from the students in an assembly.

Chipeta nurse Cindy Winder, Tyler’s mother, helped arrange the football players’ visit.

“We try to bring in community pieces to show them role models and give them experiences they might not get otherwise,” Chipeta Principal Jayme Kyle said. “We were thinking athletes and Cindy mentioned her son played for CMU. She talked to her son and the coaches and we decided to do it.”

The CMU football players appeared to be successful role models.

“They inspire me,” 12-year-old Freddie Castillo said. “Someday I want to be one of them when I grow up.”

Castillo was inquisitive, asking what position they play on the football field.

It was an enjoyable experience for the players.

“Back in the day, we used to have the college players come talk to us in elementary school,” said Lewis, a senior defensive end. “I was in awe of how massive they were and how nice they were. It was a great experience, because we looked up to those guys. It good to see when their faces light up.”

“I remember when the high school kids came in,” Neville said. “The kids did exactly what I did. ‘Throw me the ball!’ I’d throw it as far as I could to show them how big my arm was. It was awesome.”

“You come back to this and it’s so much fun here,” McRae said. “It brings you back to your childhood memories.”


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