October 26, 2006

Football Bears Create Lasting Impression At Rodarte Center

Oct. 26, 2006

Photo Gallery

GREELEY, Colo. - There are many key components to developing a successful football program, but perhaps the most important is the ability to give back to its community and have a positive impact.

That is the foundation of the University of Northern Colorado football program, and its student-athletes and coaches carried on that mission Thursday night by putting smiles on the faces of youngsters at the Rodarte Center in Greeley.

The Bears, who leave tomorrow morning for their game against Sacramento State on Saturday, spent time with players from the Rodarte Flag Football League by handing out autographs, posing for pictures and talking football. The Bears were invited by the center to as part of the league's third annual postseason celebration.

Senior defensive back Sirwestly Williams, who is an intern for the Rodarte Center, said there is nothing better for him than to make the kids happy.

"It's just great to be involved in their life," Williams said. "I enjoy having a positive impact on them."

Senior running back and co-team captain Andre Wilson said it is important to him to be a positive influence on the community's youth and spend quality time with them.

"It brings a smile to your face just to know you have a positive influence on these kids," Wilson said.

The Rodarte Center is located in northern Greeley and provides many community programs, including after school programs for the youth.

Rodarte Center Manager Julie Rocha, who played for the Bears women's soccer team from 1995-98, said the flag football program has been great for the community's kids.

"Every year I've been involved with the program, it's gotten bigger," Rocha said. "It's great to provide this kind of program for these kids. I think the football team coming out tonight has had a positive impact on their lives and we're happy they could come out tonight."

The football team has been involved with many community service projects, including the inaugural Bear Cub Football Experience last April, a blood drive last spring and a Habitat for Humanity project last spring. The mission to give back to the community will always be a cornerstone of the football team, as there are many more projects planned.