Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 11:34 pm | Mostly Cloudy 60º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Righetti High Players Take ‘Warrior Way’ To Elementary School

Seniors on football team visit Ralph Dunlap campus in Orcutt to interact with younger students

Righetti High School varsity football players Gian Solis, left, and Mitchell Silva sign autographs for young fans Thursday at Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt.
Righetti High School varsity football players Gian Solis, left, and Mitchell Silva sign autographs for young fans Thursday at Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Some Righetti High School Warriors may have writer's cramp going into Friday night’s game after signing dozens of autographs for young fans.

The impromptu autograph-signing session on Thursday occurred as approximately 20 seniors on the Righetti varsity football team visited Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt.

At the campus, the teens played with younger students on the playgrounds, tossed a football to them, and signed their names for star-struck youngsters.

The visit helped connect the players with the community, head coach Ed Herrmann said. 

“I think it just gives our kids a sense of community involvement,” he said. “We get a lot of support on Friday night at our games so we like to come out and reciprocate the support a little bit, and teach these kids about athletics and education and the commitment it takes.”

One autograph request sparked a flood from the youngsters as bemused players signed their names — and their jersey numbers — using pencils, borrowed pens and markers.

“That's a big hit today since it’s so hot,” Herrmann said.

Young fans at Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt aawait autographs from Righetti High Warrior Mitchell Silva from the varsity football team during a visit to Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt on Thursday. Click to view larger
Young fans at Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt aawait autographs from Righetti High Warrior Mitchell Silva from the varsity football team during a visit to Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt on Thursday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Players sat at tables on the playground as youngsters swarmed seeking autographs, thrusting scraps of paper in front of the teens who happily signed using borrowed pens.

"So many papers,” one overwhelmed player said as a group of youths shoved sheets of papers seeking autographs. 

A couple of other players ducked into the shade of the hallway to escape the mid-day sun and sweltering heat.

“It’s good to come out with these guys because when I was kid, nothing like this ever happened for me so I just had to find it on my own,” said Mitchell Silva, a Warrior safety.

“So it’s good to put these kids on the right direction.”

Zach Beebe, Warrior left guard, said he attended Dunlap when he was youngster, and welcomed the chance to return to set an example for the students. 

The visit meant a chance to share about football and Righetti, starting defensive end Joseph Paquet added.

“The little guys are going to play football for future Righetti,” Paquet said, adding the visit lets them plant the seed about the fun aspects of sports.

Herrmann said he performed a similar community service as a high school student in a suburb of Philadelphia.

“I just thought it was great just to make that connection with our kids and the elementary school,” Herrmann said. “I don’t know who gets more excited — our kids or them.”

The third-year coach touts the “Warrior Way” to promote doing well in school while being also being good citizens in the community, he added. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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