Gretna Middle Wins NFL Contest; Hosts Saints Players

Players from the New Orleans Saints visited Gretna Middle School last month as a part of a special celebration for the NFL’s Play 60 Super School contest. As one of Super School contest winners, Gretna Middle not only hosted a number of Saints players for a special PE class, but the school was also awarded a $10,000 check to go toward PE equipment and health programming.

Saints players who helped Gretna Middle celebrate their award included safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins, long snapper Justin Dresher, defensive end Cameron Jordan, wide receivers Joe Morgan and Lance Moore, punter Thomas Morestead and running back Pierre Thomas.

The players spoke to students about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Morestead talked about the need for a good night’s sleep, saying, “If you guys are not sleeping at least 7 or 8 hours a night it’s going to be hard to make it through the day.”

Thomas reminisced about his childhood days playing outside, but told the students to be safe and always let their parents know where they are going.

To cap off the visit, the players led the students through many different fitness activities.

NFL Play 60 is the National Football League’s campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Through the NFL’s Back to Football campaign, the Play 60 Super Schools contest asked schools to submit essays that detailed their plan to show NFL team pride and incorporate football into their lesson plans.

Gretna Middle was one of 32 schools across the country chosen to receive the $10,000 grant and the visit from the Saints.

“I think this is a huge movement going on within the NFL and it’s very important to our youth,” said Jenkins of NFL Play 60. “The program emphasizes 60 minutes of activity per day and making healthy eating choices. With childhood obesity on the rise, this is important to the health of our youth.”