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Buford Academy students earn visit from Falcons

Staff Photo: John Bohn Atlanta Falcons players visit with Buford Academy students Tuesday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Atlanta Falcons players visit with Buford Academy students Tuesday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Harry Douglas instructs Fiona Alsup in the art of throwing a pass. Douglas and several of this teammates put on a First Down Fitness Camp for 4th and 5th grade students at Buford AcademyTuesday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle Garret Reynolds instructs Cole Wright on the obstacle course station, during a First Down Fitness Camp put on by Atlanta Falcon players at Buford Academy Tuesday.

BUFORD -- One could say 10-year-old Bryce Morin enjoyed his visit Tuesday with the Atlanta Falcons.

"This is by far the best experience I've ever had in my entire life," the boy said.

He and about 100 fellow fourth- and fifth-graders at Buford Academy got to talk, play and toss the pigskin with athletes like Harry Douglas, Justin Blalock, Corey Peters, Spencer Adkins, Robert James, Michael Palmer and Garrett Reynolds.

The players were there to promote the First Down For Fitness program, an initiative to encourage children in third through seventh grades live healthy lifestyles.

Reynolds said he was "having just as much fun as the kids."

"It's good to give back to the community ... and doing something like this reminds you of what kind of position you're in to give kids a positive message," said Reynolds, an offensive tackle for the Falcons.

Wide Receiver Douglas too said he enjoyed visiting schools "as a way of giving back to the community."

"I want to play as big of a role as I can in promoting this program. It's great to be able to do this," Douglas said.

Students like Morin were appreciative.

"I think its good for us, having professional players come out here," Morin said. "They want to teach us to be good people."

Morin said he already has decided on professional football as a profession. The young man wants to be a safety and play for the NFL.

Fellow student Robin Chatham, 11, said the athletes who visited "were a lot of fun. I think they're all very nice."

Principal Joy Davis said students got the opportunity to visit with Falcons players by being nice themselves.

Because the gym could only accommodate 100 students at a time, Davis said children earned the opportunity by doing good deeds last week.

"They earned tickets by being good," Davis said.

Those who were recognized for doing good deeds had their names placed in a raffle to win a spot to Tuesday's event with the Falcons.

"These students really minded their P's and Q's," Davis said. "It's good for them to get a visit from positive role models."

For more information about the First Down for Fitness program, visit www.atlantafalcons.com