This item originally appeared in the October 14, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By ERIN HOPKINS
Tech head football coach Jack Bicknell and Ryan Moats, running back and a junior sociology major, visited the first grade classroom at A.E. Phillips Laboratory School on Oct. 1.
Bicknell visited the classroom of his daughter, Alyse Bicknell, as part of the Friday Father's Program.
Karen Roberson, a first-grade teacher at A.E. Phillips, said she felt it was a positive program both the fathers and children enjoyed.
"[The program] is a good way to get the fathers involved in what the kids are doing in the classroom, and they love for the fathers to come," Roberson said.
Roberson also said the program has been around for about five years. The fathers share what they do for a living, their hobbies and any other interests they may have for about 30 minutes.
Bicknell said they talked mostly about offense, defense, what position Moats plays, and the other positions in football.
"It was amazing how knowledgeable the kids were about football and the questions they asked," Bicknell said.
Bicknell said, as a way to remember the day, he and his daughter handed out toy footballs to the boys and pompoms to the girls.
Roberson said Moats came with Bicknell when he visited the classroom as part of a surprise for the children.
"I thought he would bring a football player with him, but I did not think it would be Ryan Moats," Roberson said. "I knew the kids would just love it."
Moats said it was not the first time he had visited a classroom, but each visit is about making the kids' day.
"Visiting the classrooms gives the kids a chance to see another side of me than just a football player," Moats said.
"There is nothing special about me. We are all the same."
Moats said the kids were excited about seeing him, and everyone had fun visiting with him and Bicknell.
Moats said it is important for the children to see how hard the football players work inside the classroom as well as on the field.
"You never know who you will affect so it's important to make a good impact," Moats said.
He also said the most important message he and the other football players send to the children is to stay in school and work hard.
Moats said, "If they work hard themselves, they can achieve what I have been able to."