A Cyclone Hits King: Coach Rhoads Fires Up Students

Coach Rhoads signs authographs for King Elementary students

A cyclone hit King Elementary School this afternoon but the good news, part of it anyway, is there were no casualties. In fact, if things go as planned the students there will be healthier as a result of what happened today in the school gym.

In connection with the Fuel Up To Play 60 (FUTP60) program Iowa State Head Football Coach Paul Rhoads visited King to speak at a reward assembly that had the look and feel of a campus pep rally. Rhoads is used to working in front of boisterous crowds but the reception he got at King prompted him to say he wished he could take the kids there with him when the Cyclones go on road trips to hostile environments.

Coach Rhoads fires up King students about the Fuel Up To Play 60 program

FUTP60 was launched under the joint auspices of the National Dairy Council, the National Football League and the United States Department of Agriculture. Its mission is to encourage kids to establish healthy habits in the areas of diet, exercise and education. King is one of some 70,000 schools nationwide that have joined in the FUTP60 effort.

The program is coordinated at King by PE teacher Tara Frohwein and Kiedra Phanfil, the school’s Library Associate, both of whom were awarded certificates in recognition of their efforts during today’s raucous assembly.

“The idea is for the kids to take the things we practice here at school home with them and use them in their lives away from school,” said Phanfil.

Coach Rhoads was introduced by Chris Freland of Midwest Dairy and played a highlight video from ISU’s 2011 season. The noise in the gym was so deafening throughout he might have had some sideline flashbacks. Known for emotional postgame speeches, Rhoads rose to this occasion too by tapping into the abundant energy that was flowing freely through his audience.

FUTP60 is all about planting the seeds of long term lifestyles and Coach Rhoads may have scattered a few more of his own. Witness a first grader with short-cropped blonde hair and a gap in his grin where his front teeth used to be who identified himself only as Patrick. He came to school today dressed in an Iowa Hawkeye t-shirt and went home with Coach Rhoads’ autograph on the back of his hand. 

Who knows? If he follows the coach’s advice maybe they’ll meet again in ten years or so.

Photos of Coach Rhoads’ visit to King Elementary School

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