Daniel Hancock, Black Hills State University sophomore from Douglas, Wyo., talks with East Elementary students Sarah Greenslate, Reese Hansen, Josh Wood, and Hunter McKinney, about making good choices in life as a part of Red Ribbon Week.

Members of the Black Hills State University Yellow Jacket football team recently visited East Elementary School in Spearfish to kick off Red Ribbon Week.

Sixteen Yellow Jacket football players talked to students at East Elementary about making the right choices in life. They shared stories about making tough decisions on their own regarding friends trying to take them down the wrong path. They learned when that happened they had to be a leader not a follower.

“I was especially impressed with the way these young men were able to share the need to be involved in something bigger than themselves and how that has helped them to be better people. Many of them spoke of being involved in things other than sports which was a great message,” noted Dan Olson, principal of East Elementary.

The football players also discussed the importance of an education. They explained to the students that they have to have a “C” average to participate in football, but their coaches don’t like “C’s” so they earn get “A’s” and “B’s”.

They Yellow Jackets have been busy on and off the field throughout the past year the team and coaches volunteered over 600 hours in for the green and gold scholarship fund through working the concession stands; read to 1st grad classes on Dr. Seuss Day; visited the BHSU Little Jackets Learning Center;
organized the Annual Midget Mania Football Camp for Spearfish and area youth football teams; sponsored Breast Cancer Awareness Day during home games; sponsored a United Services Blood Drive; helped coach the Spearfish Rams Youth Little League Football team; and various coaches and players also volunteered at area football camps in Sturgis and Belle Fourche.

BHSU, which places an emphasis on service learning, has been recognized nationally the past 4 years, being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.