SAN BENITO — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew and former Washington Redskins safety Chris Horton on Friday were at Miller Jordan Middle School in San Benito to promote the NFL “Fuel Up to Play 60” campaign.
The program, which is sponsored by the NFL and the National Dairy Association, encourages students to eat healthy and exercise at least 60 minutes a day.
“Anytime you get the opportunity to go somewhere and help children I’m always up for it,” Jones-Drew said. “We want to do everything we can to stop childhood obesity.”
Hundreds of enthusiastic students gathered outside the school Friday morning to welcome Jones-Drew and Horton. The NFL standouts then visited every classroom to discuss the importance of having a healthy diet and being active.
“(The goal is) to help kids understand that your nutritional plan can change your life,” Horton said. “Some kids go all day thinking ‘Oh, I don’t want to eat breakfast,’ or some kids are only eating once a day and it’s just like, where are you getting all your energy from?”
Cynthia Clairborne, the dean of instruction at Miller Jordan hopes Friday’s activities will increase student participation in the school’s universal breakfast program, a program she feels not enough students take advantage of.
“It’s really important for us that they start their day off with breakfast,” Clairborne said. “There are a plethora of reasons, but we believe our students need to be healthy and active to be all that they can be.”
The day’s activities included a student walk to the football stadium, a powderpuff flag football game, a Texas line dance halftime show, the classroom visits, a fan tunnel where each student got to high five one of the players, and an end-of-day pep rally featuring a teacher Olympics.
“It’s important to encourage your kids to go out and play, and eat healthy because not only does it help with your body, but it helps you mentally as well,” Jones-Drew said.
“I just wish when I was a child someone would have told my mom I had to go outside to play for an hour everyday. We just want kids to go out to burn off some of that energy they have and to eat healthy so they live a good, long life.”
More than 200 students wrote essays on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
Seventh-grader Gabrielle Ortiz, a fan of Jones-Drew, won first prize and in turn got to meet the star running back.
“It’s very awesome,” she said. “There are a lot of people in danger of getting cardiovascular diseases and having to deal with obesity so they should do at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.”
Jones-Drew and Horton will continue their trip to the Valley today with a visit to Santa Maria. The duo will be at the Santa Maria football stadium at 9 a.m.
Vipers pull away late to beat Bighorns
HIDALGO – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers took control against the Reno Bighorns on Friday by doing it the way they love – playing defense and making 3s.
Chris Johnson and Terrel Harris highlighted a late run midway though the fourth quarter with some big 3-pointers that helped the Vipers pull away and seal a 106-85 victory at State Farm Arena.
The Vipers (12-8) won their fourth in a row and the sixth in their past seven games. The Vipers improved to 6-1 at home, including six in a row. The Vipers also moved into first place in the NBA Development League Central Division standings, one game ahead of the Texas Legends. The Vipers and Legends will meet Monday and Wednesday at State Farm Arena. The Austin Toros trail the Vipers by one-half game.
On Friday, the Vipers clinged to a two-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but they began an 11-2 run with a 12-foot floater by Andrew Goudelock that made the score, 85-81.
Johnson hit a 3, Harris hit a 3 and Johnson hit another 3 that expanded the lead to 94-83 with 5:29 remaining. Johnson’s second 3 came after he got a steal and was blocked on a layup attempt in transition. Harris corralled the rebound and found Johnson open for a 3.
“It was a big stretch,” Johnson said. “They were making a run, which all teams do. We kept our composure and moved the ball around and played defense.”
Following the three straight 3-pointers, the Vipers then forced turnovers on Reno’s next three possessions (two 24-second violations and traveling). After that, Reno was done.
“It’s a big part of our offense because that’s some of the things we are trying to do,” Vipers coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought we were getting good looks tonight, and we just couldn’t crack them, but you stay with it. That opened up the game and shut the door on the game. It looked like it might go down to the wire and be anyone’s game, and it was nice to open it up.”
One day after being on the receiving end of a 134-105 smackdown against the Vipers, Reno began Friday with plenty of energy. The Bighorns (8-11) also utilized their decisive size advantage in taking a 32-28 lead. Marcus Landry, a big guard at 6-foot-7, had 12 points dring the first quarter.
“They were a little bit more physical,” Harris said. “They are normally a bang-down-low team. I could tell that they hit the boards a little harder and made an emphasis to get down low a little bit.”
The Vipers answered by limiting the Bighorns to just nine points during the second quarter in taking a 53-41 lead at halftime.
The Vipers never relinquished the lead, but Reno cut the score to as close as two twice after halftime. The final time came before the Vipers went on their late run that clinched the game.
“It was funny because two quarters, we really did have a tough time and two quarters, we really dominated them,” Nurse said. “It seems every game this year, we put one of those stellar quarters defensively, and that’s usually enough to carry us though. Tonight, we did it twice.”
Houston Rockets assignee Terrence Jones scored 27 points, equaling his season-high for the third time. Goudelock had 20 points, Harris 15 and Johnson 14. Jones and Harris each had nine rebounds.
Samardo Samuels led the Bighorns with 24 points. He had 14 of those in the first quarter. Landry had 20 and was 4 of 8 from the 3-point arc.
David Hinojosa covers the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for The Monitor. You can reach him at (956) 683-4442 or via email at email@example.com.
Globetrotters march into Hidalgo
HIDALGO — From four-point baskets to 6-on-5 basketball to playing with two basketballs, flavor is far from lost for the Harlem Globetrotters.
As the 87th edition of the Globetrotters at 7 p.m. tonight hit the hardwood floor of State Farm Arena as part of their “You Write the Rules” tour, they bring with them a lifetime’s worth of tradition and the idea that anything is possible.
“It’s a humbling situation, the fact that we’re able to create memories,” said Brawley “Cheese” Chisholm, a three-year veteran of the Globetrotters. “It’s an experience like no other. Whether you’re 8 years old or 80, you’ll always leave with a smile on your face.”
To further integrate their audience into the action, the Globetrotters are having fans vote online at harlemglobetrotters.com for one of five different rules that will be implemented each quarter, including the obscure aforementioned options, as well as double points and a penalty box.
“We still have the trickery of past generations, but with the flavor of the new generation,” Chisholm said. “The best of the best.”
In his three years, Chisholm — who earned his nickname “Cheese” because of his infectious smile — has played in 25 countries and has been to Hidalgo more than a few times, noting his love of the area’s Mexican food. He is not unfamiliar with Texas, having played at Western Texas College from 2006-2008 before hooking on with Division I Ball State for 2008-2010.
It was his time in Texas, Chisholm said, that allowed him to reach the next level of his career.
“It was just a great experience,” he said. “It helped me grow. It helped me get Division I looks. Texas has the best junior colleges and it really helped me get looked at and I’ll always be appreciative of that.”
Like the Rio Grande Valley’s athletics, Chisholm has a chip on his shoulder. At a slender 6-foot-2, he was often overlooked and plays to prove people wrong. He even fights the perception that the Globetrotters “don’t play real basketball.”
“Like any other part of basketball, this is organized ball,” he said. “The only difference is we’re playing in environments typical to college. We’re always the home team, so all the heckling and stuff is a big part of our game.”
This year’s Globetrotters boast three female players, one of which will be in action tonight. Rookie “Mighty” Mitchell, a Louisiana native, is a 5-foot-6 bundle of talent who graduated from New Orleans’ Dillard University, the alma mater of “Supertrotter” Billy Ray Hobley.
She and fellow rookie T-Time Brawner are the 10th and 11th females to suit up for the Globetrotters.
“She’s the real deal,” Chisholm said of Mitchell. “There’s a reason we call her ‘Mighty.’”
Hi-Lite is another popular talent of the Globetrotters, whose play on the court takes after former Globetrotters great Meadowlark Lemon.
The Globetrotters will hold an autograph session after tonight’s game, and will play with a pink basketball at times during the contest to promote breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons will be sold during the game, and all funds will go toward the cause.
UTPA's Davison back in record books
LUBBOCK – After a stellar rookie season, sophomore Jasmine Davison picked up right where she left off, recording the fourth longest weight throw in University of Texas-Pan American women’s indoor track & field history to lead the Broncs on Friday in day one of the Masked Rider Open, hosted by Texas Tech, at the Athletic Training Center.
Davison’s throw measured 16.74 meters, placing her in second, 1.01 meters behind SMU’s Rayann Chin.
Four Broncs also made their way into the record book in the women’s 1,000-meter run, an indoor event in which the Broncs have not often participated. Judith Chumba is now the program record holder after a sixth place run of 3:10.70. Edinburg native Robin Galloso ranks second after an eighth place run of 3:12.94. Daphne Payton ranks third after an 11th place run of 3:14.08. Edinburg native Rebekah Rodriguez ranks fourth after a 14th place run of 3:17.38. They break the four-year old record held by Daniela Estevane, who ran a 3:21.93 in 2009.
On the men’s side, Martin Casse and Pharr native Joshua Rosalez also found their way into the record book for the 1,000-meter run. Casse used a seventh place time of 2:32.38 to take over the No. 2 spot in program history, and Rosalez finished with a 10th place time of 2:35.77, good for fifth place in program history.
Competition continues at 9 a.m. Saturday with the pole vault, followed by the shot put and triple jump at 10 a.m. Running events will get underway at 11 a.m. with the 55-meter hurdles and dash. At 12:30 p.m., runners will compete in the mile, 400 meters, 800 meters, 3,000 meters and 1,600-meter relay events.
-- UTPA Services