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Xplorers players visit Whitehaven Public Library

June 22, 2004 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—“The rain and possibility of hail kept many daycares away from Whitehaven Public Library’s summer reading program activities on Tuesday, but it didn’t stop the Memphis Xplorers from visiting with a small group of interested middle-schoolers in the library’s basement.

Xplorers players Alan Halloway and Earl Seals began by asking each person what his or her favorite sport is, favorite team and the position they would like to play. The players fielded questions about positions, how long they’ve been playing, and what colleges they attended.

Halloway attended North Carolina State, where he graduated with a degree in sociology; Seals attended University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he graduated with a degree in accounting and finance.

“It’s really important in grades 9-12 to study, get those ACT scores—that’s what determines where you go to school,” Seals said.

“You’ve got to stay focused,” Halloway told the students. “The way I stayed focused was playing football. It’s important to get your degree because you never know when you might need it. Right now we’re doing what we love and getting paid for it, but you need that degree just in case playing ball doesn’t work out.”

After speaking to the students about the importance of education, the players allowed the children to try on the Xplorers’ game gear and pads. Xplorers Community Relations representative Stacie White then asked the students to participate in a series of contests, in which they got to pick one of seven Xplorers merchandise prizes.

In the first contest, the students and Halloway competed to see who could do the most consecutive push-ups in 60 seconds. The children had to give the answer to 9 times 9, remember Halloway’s full name, the team’s full official name, and Seals’ position on the team, among other questions. The players then signed autographs and took pictures before leaving.

“It was a nice experience,” Seals said. “They were surprised to see us. They acted like they were really glad we were there. It made me feel special. Having been here just a few weeks, it was really neat to get out and have the opportunity to start giving back to the community so quickly. We really enjoyed it.”

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