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RIDGEWAY — Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Ickey Woods, famous for his touchdown dance, the “Ickey Shuffle,” visited Ridgemont High School Thursday to help recognize Stephanie Jolliff as Ohio’s 2012 NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor of the Year.
According to a release from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, Jolliff and her students worked with the Ridgemont school district to revamp their concession stand menus and vending machines to offer healthier items.
Jolliff said the honor is a reflection of the type of kids that attend the school.
“I think it’s really a testament to the quality of kids we have in the program here at Ridgemont,” Jolliff said. “They were able to put together an amazing program that provided the opportunity for me to be named advisor of the year.”
Woods had a chance to meet and talk with Jolliff Thursday about her program and came away with a good impression.
“Stephanie seems like a great lady and she’s doing some wonderful things with her program,” Woods said. “She’s program advisor of the year and that’s very special. It’s a testament to her and the things she does for the school.”
To be able to meet with Woods and have the opportunity for many of the students to meet and shake hands with a former NFL player was something that meant a lot to the school, Jolliff said.
“I think this is an incredible moment for our Ridgemont students because it allows them a memory that will always last with them,” Jolliff said. “The fact that many of them got to meet Ickey, shake hands with him, play activities out here in the field was just a neat opportunity for someone of that stature to come in and recognize a small school for doing great work to help obesity rates and a healthy lifestyle among the students.”
Woods said it meant a lot to him to be able to come to Ridgemont and promote a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising to the kids.
“Especially with the obesity that we have in America right now, it means a lot to get out and get to talk to the kids and let them know to fuel up, eat right, eat nutritiously and just make sure you get exercise,” Woods said. “That’s one of the key points to Fuel Up to Play 60 is making sure you’re eating right and making sure you’re exercising; get off the PlayStation and the Xbox, get out and do a few things.”
All the students of Ridgemont were able to get out and exercise Thursday at the school as they had an outdoor activities day on and around the football field.
Woods also talked about what the program means to him at a personal level, mentioning the things he was taught as a kid about getting outside and keeping active.
“When I grew up, we didn’t have PlayStation and Xbox,” he said. “My mom used to tell us as soon as we got up at 10 in the morning, we had to be outside playing or something; we couldn’t sit around the house all day.”
Woods talked to the students about eating right and keeping active and also took the time to take some questions.
And of course, he capped it by doing his famous “Ickey Shuffle” to the roar of the crowd.
By TY THAXTON
Times staff writer