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Coyotes Teach Leadership at Nellie N. Coffman Middle School

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(CATHEDRAL CITY) — “Until you’ve had the taste of finishing something incredibly difficult, you will not respect yourself.”University of Miami graduate Kelvin Cain – who on the field is a menacing 6’5”, 265-pound linebacker – spoke softly, and humbly, before packed assemblies of Nellie N. Coffman Middle Schoolers last week during the SoCal Coyotes Fall Leadership Series.
The NFL prospect recounted a promise he made to his mother to finish every grade of school, including college, and earn his degree.”My mom struggled,” Cain said, “but she never quit. She kept food on our table, clothes on our back, and she raised us with values and morals. And on Mother’s Day this year, I was able to give something to her. I was blessed to walk down that aisle and graduate from the University of Miami, and live up to my promise and finish what I started.
“Everybody in this room can give their mom the same gift – but are you willing to stay focused, work extremely hard, choose good friends, and take advantage of every opportunity? There is no greater feeling, after you’ve followed through, with tears, with struggles, with pain … you must fight on, no matter the circumstances, until you finish.”
KELVIN CAIN WAS JUST ONE OF many players from the Coyotes non-profit sports leadership organization who spent the entire school day on campus, addressing more than 1,500 kids, one class period at a time in a gymnasium that holds 300. Star rookie quarterback Michael Karls, who led Palm Springs High School to their first CIF championship in 70 years and graduated in May from Midlands University, encouraged students “to dream big, and never, ever give up on those dreams.”
The 5-11 quarterback recounted being bullied in middle school, because “when you’re smaller than everybody else, you’re an easy target.” That would change, however, he said. “If you keep making grades, keep your eye on your dream, keep out -working everybody else, you will reach a point where suddenly they’re not laughing at you anymore,” smiled Karls, who holds multiple records everywhere he’s played, including scoring six touchdowns in a game four different times.
OTHER COYOTE SPEAKERS included Point University graduate and wide receiver William Eichman,, East Central Oklahoma graduate and defensive back Kris Vereen, Hall of Fame center Brian “Porkchop” Brian Gollnick, defensive back John Paiz, and fan favorite Shaine Boyle from Faulkner University, who earned a shot last season with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
Every student left with a 50-question “Coyote Leadership Quiz,” curriculum that allows them to score and improve on leadership qualities, ranging from time management, study habits, chores and even personal hygiene. Just two days after addressing the school, Karls – forced into duty for the injured Nate Lewis — would lead The SoCal Coyotes to a stunning 27-0 upset road victory.
OFF THE FIELD, the SoCal Coyotes exhort players to fulfill their human potential. Every player who enters the Coyote program is asked to examine their personal values, opinions, and beliefs, and encouraged to practice daily ethical skills and competencies associated with effective leadership. As a benchmark program that raises the competence, conscience, and compassion of its players, the Coyotes declare in their mission statement that they are “advocates and protectors for those less fortunate, challenged or struggling, and passionate about serving as community role models.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, email sam@thesocalcoyotes.com. To discover more about the SoCal Coyotes, visit www.thesocalcoyotes.com, orhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SoCal_Coyotes. -GM Sam Maggio

 

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