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Blue Jay Elite

Celeste Lenhardt

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The football and cheer teams are showing some appreciation for the community and for each other by giving back through service, support and kindness.  They’re participating in a new competition at LHS called Blue Jay Elite.

“Blue Jay Elite is an accountability, cross-activity support, community growth system that includes a month to month competition with prize incentives,” football coach Alec Eslick said.

The players earn points by completing activities, such as community service, supporting each other’s teams, having good grades, eating healthy or any other challenge Eslick dreams up.  At the end of the month, the team with the most points wins a prize, for example, free Sheridan’s custard.

One of the community service projects the football and cheer teams have tackled was helping at the  Liberty Christian Fellowship (LCF) summer camp that provides support for children with special needs.  The football and cheer team members worked with and befriended children who attended the camp.

“I went to LCF over the summer, I spent the afternoon with special needs kids.” cheerleader junior Maddison Clark said. “We tie-dyed shirts, baked cookies, did yoga and played instruments.”

Football player junior Reggie Parks also went to LCF to help the special needs kids.

“We played games and we did tie dye shirts, made comforters, made pillows and made cookies,” Parks said.  “We hung out with them, it was fun.”

Cheerleader freshman Angel Graflage provided service in a school setting.  She helped hand out school supplies to lower income families, helped at a back to school night and at a carnival at Manor Hill Elementary School.

“I have gone to an event where school supplies are given out to lower income families, back to school night and a carnival at manor hill,”  Graflage said.

Eslick created Blue Jay Elite for several reasons.

“I wanted to build relationships and a closer bond between athletes from one sport or activity to another. I also wanted that same thing between our coaches and activity leaders,”  Eslick said.  “Second, I wanted to create a platform for our student athletes to connect with our community in bigger ways. The community supports us, so we should do anything we can to support them.”

But Eslick does not want to limit teambuilding and service to just the football and cheer team, he would like to include the whole school.

“My goal for Blue Jay Elite is to have a whole school of involved students helping one another succeed and supporting each other through the process,” Eslick said.  “I would like for us to be more involved with the community and letting the people of Liberty know we appreciate them,”

The football and cheer teams both enjoy this new competition and are grateful to Eslick for getting Blue Jay Elite going.

“It’s definitely gotten me out into the community, into a lot more community service stuff,” football player senior Robert Rawie said.  “I’m thankful for that.”

“It’s made me appreciate my coaches, teammates and all the hard work other people involved in Blue Jay Elite do as well,” Clark said.

The players believe it’s important to give back to their community and are grateful for the opportunity to do so.

“It’s always good to give back to your community because people can look at you and think, ‘wow, he’s a good guy and he’ll always help you out,’” Parks said.  “It’s your community, you want to see the community succeed, not be down.”

Garage agrees.

“I think it is  important for people to know that we help around the school and community and to better yourself and be a good role model for others,” She said.

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Blue Jay Elite