UCF Football Reaches Out to Local Children

May 18, 2012

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By Brian Ormiston

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF football took time away from the summer semester and preparing for the 2012 season Friday when several Knights met with local children on the UCF campus as well as in the classroom.

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Outside Bright House Networks Stadium, Lyle Dankenbring, Troy Davis, Kevin Garvy, Billy Giovanetti, Theo Goins, Jordan Rae and Phil Smith met with fifth graders from East Lake Elementary in IOA Plaza. The group toured the stadium, played catch, practiced their kicking skills, signed autographs, took pictures and held a Q&A session.

"One of the best parts about being a part of this UCF program is the community outreach that we do," Dankenbring said. "It's fun for us to come out here and have a good time with the kids, making sure they get to see the stadium and hang out with us for awhile. As a little kid I certainly would have loved to come out here and catch some passes."

At Jackson Heights Middle School, Blake Bortles, Rob Calabrese, Kemal Ishmael and Latavius Murray ate lunch with students and talked to them about the importance of education, athletics and being a role model. The kids prepared questions for the players ahead of time as well.

For Bortles, it was a trip to his past as the sophomore quarterback attended Jackson Heights Middle School as a youngster. He eventually graduated from Oviedo High School before suiting up in Black and Gold.