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Students run after fitness touchdown

SOUTH POINT — Missy Waugh was showing off her love for the Green Bay Packers in a big way. The sixth grade computer science teacher at South Point Middle School was decked out in a foam rubber Cheddar cheese hat to tout one of Wisconsin’s favorites, not counting Vince Lombardi, of course.

The outfit was one of the ways the staff at the school was cheering on the students during Friday’s Punt Pass and Kick contest, all a part of the NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

The program is geared to teach the students proper eating habits and the value of exercise. And exercise was what they were getting on the football field Friday morning as homerooms, adopting for the day the logo of a professional football team, took turns going through their paces. The homeroom that got the most yardage in the contest won a healthy pizza party.

“The kids are having a blast,” Waugh said. “They are exercising. They are measuring. They don’t realize they are learning.”

Kayla Stapleton took her turn kicking the ball off the tee for her contribution to the “Seattle Seahawks” performance and found being part of the Fuel Up program an advantage.

“It gets you to do a lot of exercise, makes us healthier and brings us together to work as a team,” she said.

The fitness program has inspired Michael Richardson to add on some extracurricular activities to promote his own health.

“This is awesome,” he said about the program. “I want to start working out after school.”

As far as the changes in diet, Michael found them easy to make.

“I don’t like junk food all that well,” he said.

After a morning of exercise the students went back to the classroom to document what they had accomplished in order to vie for one of 32 national prizes of $10,000 the NFL is giving out. That money would go toward a health or physical education program for the students.

But whether the school gets the money or not as Waugh sees it the students are already winners.

“They are learning and not just academically, but also socialization,” Waugh said.