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Local Student-Athletes Prepare To Take Up Torch As Anti-Tobacco Role Models

September 7, 2010
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As another high school sports season begins in Marshall County, a new class of student-athletes is initiated into an elite group honored by the Indiana High School Athletic Association as IHSAA Role Models. Picking up where those before them left off, these Marshall County high school students will take the lead as anti-tobacco advocates in their schools and communities during the IHSAA Role Model Program’s eighth consecutive year.
 
Participants of the 2010-2011 Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Role Model Program appear larger than life on posters, sports schedules, trading cards and other materials as symbols of healthy, active individuals. And while the honor to do so recognizes students who boast high grades, athletic achievement, and a good record of citizenship, carrying the torch as an anti-tobacco role model isn’t always easy, even for these all-stars.
 
“Participants are asked to conduct themselves as role models among their teams, classmates and community members at all times, which can be a great amount of pressure,” said IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress. “Much is asked of these student-athletes in the name of changing habits and positively influencing lives.”
 
Four student-athletes from Marshall County have been selected to represent their respective high schools during the fall 2010 sports season. Jeremiah Harvey, a football player from Culver Community High School, Hope Jordan, a cross country runner from Bremen High School, Neil Robinson, a football player from Triton High School, and Katelynn Zechiel, a volleyball player from Argos High School are all being featured in this year’s program. All four student-athletes are sponsored by Tobacco Free Marshall County. In total, 62 students from 50 Indiana high schools are participating as IHSAA Role Model during the 2010-2011 school year.
 
All four student-athletes were nominated to represent their respective high schools by administrators at their schools. They also signed a pledge agreeing to be tobacco, drug and alcohol free and serve as positive role models for their communities.
 
Educators are encouraged to display Role Model posters and distribute pocket schedules/trading cards in their high school, the middle and elementary schools that feed their high school, and in local businesses throughout the community. This year’s materials carry the headline: “Proud To Be Tobacco Free.”
 
“The fact of the matter is there are thousands of high school athletes in Indiana that serve as role models,” said Ress. “The leadership skills required to fill such important roles in our state’s schools and communities are just some of the many life lessons taught via high school athletics.”

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