DAYTON, Idaho — Carson Henderson liked having Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Tre Flowers at his elementary school on Wednesday.
“I like having NFL players come so they can teach me what to do to play football,” said the second-grader.
Flowers told him and the rest of the Harold B. Lee Elementary student body “to eat healthy foods,” said Carson.
He also told them to listen to their parents or guardians, to go outside and play at least an hour a day, and, to the cheers of the teachers, to get their rest at night instead of playing video games.
Flowers said the hardest part of being an NFL player “is taking care of yourself. You need to eat right. You need to sleep. You can’t play Fortnight all night.”
In an assembly the elementary earned for its unique way of encouraging youths to be healthy, Tre Flowers answered questions, cheered both the teachers and the children on in relay races and answered questions posed by students Ana Mariscal and Max Santos Ledesma.
His favorite food is pasta, and before a game he always eats spaghetti and has a chocolate milk — his favorite drink since he was in elementary school himself. And strawberry ice cream is definitely his favorite flavor.
Flowers’ favorite sport is baseball, and his dad wanted him to play basketball because he was good at that. Football is fun, too, and he encouraged the children to play any sport they enjoy. His favorite thing about football is that he can hit people, “not with my fists, but with my head and my shoulders,” he hurriedly clarified for his young audience.
His favorite play, he said, was from his days as a second grader when he “scored the first two points in his first game.”
If anyone discourages him, he said he does what his mother told him to do.
“She said, ‘Smile and laugh and remember that you can do whatever you put your mind to.’”
“I am nothing special. I was just like you a lot of years ago,” he said. “I drank my milk, went outside and played and then went in and read with my mom.”
Teachers in the audience cheered for that comment, too.
Family is important to Flowers, and his live in San Antonio, Texas, where he grew up. He said football and his competitive family motivate him to stay fit.
Jenn Roberts, PTO president for Harold B. Lee Elementary, noted the rapport he quickly developed with the children.
“I was really impressed with Tre and how personable he was with the kids. They all felt like they made a new best friend,” she said. “I have a new favorite NFL team.”
Flowers told the Harold B. Lee students he loved the local feel. In fact, this visit to Idaho — his first visit, he said — “kinda has a Texas feel. I can’t give all the special treatment to Idaho because I’m a Texan,” he said, grinning, “but Idaho is a special place.”
To earn the Fuel Up to Play 60 competition that brought Flowers to Harold B. Lee Elementary, the school had the Ben Gittins family, who run a local dairy, put on an assembly to teach them about the dairy industry. They also had a contest for the teachers, for which the loser donned a cow costume and danced for the student body, said Heidi Martin, vice president of health and wellness for Dairy West.
The Fuel Up to Play 60 program is sponsored by the NFL and the National Dairy Council, for which Dairy West represents dairies in Utah and Idaho.