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Pirates football players enjoy NFL experiences

Pirates head coach Brad Webber and Pirates senior running back Gerald Hines traveled to the National Football League’s Pro Bowl in Orlando, FL on Jan. 27. Webber was one of 32 coaches from across the nation who was nominated for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award. He chose to take Gerald Hines with him to the Pro Bowl. ’Gerald got to meet a bunch of players and compete in the High School Skills Challenge which is very similar to the Pro Skills challenge the NFL guys did,’ said coach Webber. ‘The Pro Bowl Experience was simply amazing. It was a first class event. The hospitality was great, the food amazing. The NFL really rolled out the red carpet for us. From the opening ceremonies it was just unbelievable, Gerald got to be on stage with Snoop Dogg and Emmitt Smith. The entire Wide World of Sports Complex was decked out with football stuff left and right. We got to watch the NFC/AFC practice and get some pictures and autographs.’ Fifty high school players from across the U.S. competed in the HS Skills Challenge. Gerald placed second in the 40 yard dash and second in the skills gauntlet. He was on the AFC team which defeated the NFC and earned a medal. Other Pirates players got to be part of the NFL Experience High School Showcase at the Georgia World Congress Center recently. The Pirates were one of 20 schools in Georgia that were chosen and 25 players were allowed to attend the event. ’They listened to league professionals talk about different fields in the sports industry, had NFL players take them through drills and had a session with the Saints’ team motivational speaker,’ said Coach Webber. ‘They also got to enjoy the NFL Experience in the Congress Center which was simply amazing and featured a lot of history of the games including all the Super Bowl rings, Hall of Famers and the Lombardi trophy. The also saw NFL players walking around and got to take part in tons of exhibits and activities for the players to do. The Falcons also gave the boys a $20 food voucher.’ Melvin Ingram from the Chargers briefly spoke to the team, telling them to ‘Just keep grinding. Stay prayed up. You can do whatever you want to do you can do. Keep grinding. Stay in your books. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, you can do anything.’ Landon Collins from the Giants also spoke to the team. ‘If you have a dream, follow it. He’s always blessing you so keep God first,’ he said.

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