Fun Tradition Brings Cheers, Smiles and Gratitude
Nov 06, 2015 12:08PM ● Published by Aimee L Cook
By Aimee L. Cook
South Valley - Now in its sixth year, the annual tradition started by former Riverton High School coach Mike Miller brought a fun and energetic atmosphere to the students at Kauri Sue Hamilton School on Sept. 22. Both the varsity and junior varsity football team of 63 players surprised the students with a classic pep rally and gave out over 300 T-shirts.
“As the football team came into the school, they were greeted with cheers of ‘RHS, RHS’ from the students and staff who were anxiously awaiting their arrival,” Rita Bouillon, principal of Kauri Sue Hamilton School, said. “After the players do a few cheers and chants for the students, they grab loads of shirts and deliver them to each room. The next hour is spent with photo opps and great interactions between our kids and the players. Many of our students never get this kind of opportunity, and to see the delight on their faces is priceless. Several players witnessed a serious seizure this year and were speechless and concerned about the incident. One of them said to me, ‘I realize now that I don’t have struggles. These kids have struggles every day that I never dreamed of ‘.”
The players spent over an hour visiting the classrooms and interacting with students. Miller knew back in 2010, that giving back in this way would be a memorable experience for all the students.
“Coach Miller had been a part of a BBQ contest at Peterson’s Market in 2010 and one of our students had made the sign for his cooking station. He loved the sign and followed up with our school to meet the student,” Bouillon said. “There was an instant connection between the student and Coach Miller, and that connection continues. Coach Miller used his own money to buy a Riverton High School Fan Family T-shirt for every single person in our school. He asked that in return we wear them every Friday in support of the RHS football team. There isn›t a day that goes by in our school that you don›t find at least one of the staff in a RHS Football Fan Family T-shirt. Coach Miller received the Pay It Forward award one year, after being nominated by a RHS parent for the fabulous outreach he has done with KSHS. As they leave, we thank the boys for coming, but they always thank us for allowing them to be here. I have seen many players moved to tears and awe by our students.”
Current Riverton High School coach Brenton Hawkins attended the pep rally with the players. They sing the school fight song, recognize a few students and get the crowd pumped up.
“This year we brought Coach Miller back with us, we are proud to be a part of it,” Hawkins said. “A big part of our program is to help our kids learn and gain a unique perspective. We really love to do it.”