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Campers mingle with their Hawkeye heroes

[ 0 ] May 4, 2013 |

A little rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the visitors in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday.

Campers from Camp Courageous got a tour of the facility and had the chance to meet their Hawkeye heroes Saturday.

“They look up to us,” junior linebacker Anthony Hitchens said. “Just to see those kids smile, all the stuff they go through, it’s a good thing.

“Speaking for myself, I’m glad to have that kind of impact on young kids.”

Most of the seniors-to-be participated Saturday, having lunch with the campers, signing autographs and touring Kinnick Stadium with them.

“For the players, it’s an opportunity for them to meet the kids,” said Chic Ejiasi, Iowa’s director of player development. “The kids are so excited. They get to see how big the (players) are.

“For the guys, it puts things in perspective. Its a great opportunity for both parties.”

Junior offensive lineman Brett Van Sloten said he made a connection Saturday.

“It means a lot that we’re looked up to, and we can put a smile on their face by spending an hour with them,” Van Sloten said. “It means a lot to them, and it means a lot to us.”

Van Sloten had promised “Tony” a chance to play catch on the Field Turf of Kinnick Stadium, but a steady rain kept that from happening.

Despite the rain, the campers still took turns out on the turf, walking into the end zone and seeing where their idols played.

“It’s a chance for us to interact with some people we wouldn’t normally get to,” Iowa junior linebacker James Morris said. “It makes us feel good inside; anytime you make somebody’s day better. Whether you’re doing it by being a football player, or being a good citizen, it makes you feel good. That’s universal.”

Ejiasi said he it was the eighth year for Camp Courageous Day at Kinnick Stadium.

“Camp Courageous is something we’ve wanted to be involved with for a while,” Ejiasi said. “It works out well.”

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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