Although the Douglass Ducks 2013 football season was well underway when the 1st & Goal initiative launched, the Ducks were quickly able to utilize the program’s resources. Immediate support from instructional staff at The Academics at Frederick Douglass high school in Baltimore, Maryland helped to quickly identify academic needs of the football players. Therefore, additional tutoring support for the football team was implemented and program workshops were held. Also, the football team was able to hear encouraging words from the dynamic motivational speaker Joe Ehrmann about leading a profound life and what it means to be a man.
The Douglass Ducks’ hard work in the classroom became an immediate platform for the program. For a job well done on their first quarter report cards, select players with AB Honor Roll were chosen to visit the Baltimore Ravens Under Armor Performance Center located in Owings Mills, Maryland. During the visit, the players were able to meet Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and a few football players from the Baltimore Ravens team. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain delivered some encouraging words to the Ducks about the importance of education, staying in school, and getting a college degree.
Although the on-field competition is over, the academic competition in the classroom continues. Following the second quarter report cards, three Douglass Ducks were selected to attend Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day in Newark, New Jersey. During this time, the players were able to connect with David Tyree, the 1st & Goal Program’s lead for player support and services, and meet a few NFL Legends.
With postseason in full swing, there is an ongoing commitment to actively engage the football team in the classroom and with the 1st & Goal Program. Following the Christmas break, additional support was given to juniors and seniors to help prepare them for the SAT this January. Other opportunities and incentives will continue to be available to the Douglass Ducks throughout the offseason. They will include, but are not limited to, the Success Highways curriculum by Scholar Centric, financial literacy training, college tours, and guest speakers such as Maurice Clarett,just to name a few.
The teachers, coaches, Athletic Director, Principal, parents, and the administrative support staff at The Academies at Frederick Douglass High School have continued to provide support and guidance in 1st & Goal initiative. The 1st & Goal Program will continue to enrich the Douglass Ducks through academic guidance, mentoring, college exposure, and nurturing the player’s individual talents off the field. This will ensure that the football players receive all the vital skills necessary to be successful not only in football, but also in life.