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The Antelope

The Antelope

High-Five Friday: Football athletes spread Loper pride to Kearney schools

The team’s goal with the event is to connect with Kearney Public Schools and Inspire young people. Photo provided by Kolton Maturey / Antelope Staff

The Loper football team woke up early Friday morning to high-five and greet students walking into Horizon Middle School. What started out small, has become a weekly tradition for the athletes.

The team has made it a priority to connect with students at elementary and middle schools.

“We think it’s important to get out in the community,” said UNK coach, Josh Lynn. “I think it develops a better athlete, a well-rounded athlete. Loper football is really appreciative of what the city of Kearney does for our football program and you know, this is something small where we can give back.”

Hunter Hays, an offensive lineman, said the kids’ energy helps wake him up and get excited for Friday. He hopes to do just the same for the students and give them a positive start to their morning.

Hays knows from experience the impact that an event like this can have on the students.

“I was in their shoes one day back when I was young, and I always looked up to the local football players at the college level, even the high school level too,” Hays said. “I know exactly how they feel, and I’m glad that now I can be a part of that. Just to see the smile on all the kids’ faces when we give them high fives you know, they kind of look up to us as role models.”

Amber Lewis, principal of Horizon Middle School, is always looking for ways to change it up for the students and add something fun to their day.

“I like anytime that we can create a unique experience for our students,” Lewis said. “It’s a positive addition to their day. This is a good way for us to end their week on a high note and get them introduced to some people who are clearly dedicated, hardworking individuals because it takes a lot to be a student-athlete.”

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