March 4, 2010
By Zak Gilbert
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - For an hour on Thursday morning, Irish Elementary was CSU West.
Cross country head coach and former All-American Bryan Berryhill, student-athletes Eugene Daniels (football), Meghan Heimstra (women's basketball) and Carson Rowley (track and field), CAM the Ram and CSU's cheer and pom squads invaded the gymnasium at the school in northwest Fort Collins.
CSU coaches and athletes invest more than 1,000 hours of service into the community on an annual basis, but this particular appearance was to fulfill a grand prize. Irish won the award as part of the Qwest Playmaker Awards Program, after two of its students - more than any other school in Fort Collins - won individual awards last fall.
Berryhill, Daniels, Heimstra and Rowley talked to the students about leadership and getting good grades. Berryhill, a national champion during his CSU track and field career, told the students that leadership is what separates great teams from good teams.
CSU's spirit squads led the entire school in the fight song and several cheers. Afterward, the CSU representatives answered questions from the audience, many of which were either very entertaining, or very challenging.
Daniels and Heimstra spun one of those questions, `Did you win any games this year?' from a very young Irish student, answering that while their teams didn't win as many contests as they would've liked, they each beat CU. That answer drew the largest applause from the audience.
Daniels, a junior defensive lineman, also explained that he does get to hit people in his sport, but that hitting should be done on the field in competition and not off the field. Asked whether CAM, CSU's 6-foot-9 mascot, is a leader, Daniels replied affirmatively, pointing out that he leads by example since he can't talk, and the mascot had the biggest muscles, even if they were made out of cloth and stuffing.
Every speaker supported the Irish motto, worn on the back of T-shirts by most in attendance: Positive, Proud and Productive.