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Former GSU stars Peterson, Thomas visit Stilson

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    STILSON — Former Georgia Southern and current NFL players Adrian Peterson and Kiwaukee Thomas were the highlight of an assembly  Wednesday at Stilson Elementary School. The assembly was aimed at encouraging the students to study hard for the upcoming CRCT test (kindergarten through fourth grade) and the Georgia Writing test (fifth grade).
    The entertainment kicked off with the cheerleaders of Southeast Bulloch High School performing various stunts to the applause of the children, followed by a series of Stilson cheers.
    An introduction from principal Dennis Carpenter started the serious portion of the assembly, and then Peterson addressed the crowd. After offering advice to the students about preparing for a big test — tips like getting a good night’s sleep and eating a nutritious breakfast and staying away from sweets — Peterson told the children just how important school was to him.
    “Education is so important,” Peterson told the eager children. “If I did not put myself into the best position when I was in High School, I never would have made it to college… Always remember to study.”
    Peterson then fielded questions from the children, and turned over the microphone to former teammate Thomas.
    Thomas discussed the importance of the choices the children will make in their lives. He mentioned that every decision a child makes will have consequences, so the right choices will always have a positive impact.
    “Say it with me, kids,” Thomas repeated. “‘Choices, decisions, and consequences’.”
    After the players addressed the children, autographs were given out to any of the excited children who wanted one.
    “If we can influence any kids,” said Thomas, “and show them the positive and the right way to think mentally — just encourage them and put a happy smile on their face — that is what it is all about. The little ones now, they are the future.”
    The event was put together by Principal Carpenter, who has known Thomas and Peterson for years.
    “We need to do something very special for our kids,” said Carpenter. “They have been working extremely hard — year after year we do an outstanding job on state testing — and what better way to reward our kids then with some of the role models that they look up to.”
    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912)-489-9404.
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