By Steven Penn
Danville South Elementary School was named the winner of the Colts P.R.I.D.E. contest, hosted by h.h. gregg, after submitting a video that showed the school representing their P.R.I.D.E. (Play 60, Respect, Intelligent Decisions, Diet, Education).
For winning, the students were awarded the P.R.I.D.E. trophy and treated to a special program in the gymnasium that featured the 2006 Super Bowl trophy, games and prizes, special guests Blue the mascot, a few Colts cheerleaders, and starters left tackle Anthony Castonzo and tight end Dwayne Allen.
The games included a toss game, in which two students had to throw items into a basket on each of the player’s heads and a tic-tac-toe basketball game, where each time a basket was made the students had to run and place an “X” or an “O” on the board.
For participating in the games, each student received an Android Tablet. Each classroom at South was also given a tablet for winning the contest.
Castonzo and Allen were even given the opportunity to show off their basketball skills by completing a dunk that would get the students an extra 10 minutes of recess.
The players also got a chance to tell the students why making intelligent decisions and having respect are important parts of the P.R.I.D.E. mindset.
“When I was a kid, I had a dream to play NFL football,” Castonzo told the students. “ … In order to achieve that dream or goal you need to make the right decisions and keep the good things in your life and get rid of the bad things. Making bad decisions, like alcohol or drugs, that’s what’s going to deter you from getting to that goal. If you make all the right decisions in life, your goal is basically right in reach.”
Allen added why having respect was important.
“When you have respect, you’re able to communicate,” he said. “Me and Anthony are teammates, we get along a lot. But if we didn’t have respect, whenever we disagreed on things, we wouldn’t be able to live in that harmony and be teammates. Because whenever we do have disagreements, we’re able see each other’s perspective and though we disagree … I see where he’s coming from and he sees where I’m coming from.”
When the program was finished, each classroom got to take a photo with the Super Bowl trophy, the P.R.I.D.E. trophy, the Colts cheerleaders, and the players.
Castonzo said after the program that being a role model and being active in the community is something he takes seriously.
“I know when I was a kid and I looked up to the football players, what they did had a big impact on me,” he told the Hendricks County Flyer. “I’d like to have a positive impact on as many people as I can.”
He added that it’s also a lot fun for him.
“Frankly, I like just coming out and having fun with the kids,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to come out and you’re playing with 600 kids at a time and it’s a blast. I like to come out and I have a lot of fun.”
Allen said giving back to the community is also important to him, as well as the Colts organization.
“Ever since I started out with the Colts organization, it’s been pretty evident and out there that from top to bottom, this organization cares about the surrounding community and wants to make the community better,” he said. “(Colts owner) Mr. (Jim) Irsay prides himself in giving back to the community. So as players whenever we get the opportunity to give back and give our time and money we do so, and we do so proudly.”
He said he understands the impact, as an athlete, that he can have.
“In Clemson, (where he played his college ball) I was able to realize the impact that not only a professional athlete, (but) a college athlete and even a high school athlete, that power or that recognition that comes with being a well-known athlete,” he said. “I was able to realize that early and was able to be in the community early. Coming to the Colts organization it was kind of like me continuing my off the field work and embracing the community.”
As for the upcoming season, Castonzo said he and Allen are ready to go and aiming to improve on last year’s stellar 11-5 season.
“We start competitive stuff on Monday with OTA’s (Organized Team Activities) and I know I can speak for Dwayne and I that we’re both very excited to get out there and start competition against our own defense and start getting ready for the training camp,” he said.