Six Tucumcari High School football players from the class of 2005 and two coaches traveled to Las Vegas Thursday to learn a bit more about teamwork and themselves, and according to everyone involved, it worked.
The six, John Sewell, Nick Weigel, Chris McCasland, Justin Garcia, Nemi Salvador and Steven Taylor along with coaches “Dub” Smith and Brian Dunlap took part in the “ropes” course in Las Vegas designed to teach and foster teamwork among different groups that take part in the program. “It was a fantastic experience,” said Smith about the different aspects of the training that the seniors, he and his other coach participated in. “It went great. I tell you, it was super. The kids really got a lot out of it.”
Smith said the program is designed to place the young athletes in situations that foster interdependence.
“I think it was great,” said Tucumcari High School Senior and football player McCasland. “It was a really good experience for our seniors. We did a lot that forced us to depend on each other. It was a lot of fun, too.”
Among other things the participants had to climb a 40-foot wall and then slide down a 150-foot long “zip” line before touching ground.
“It was a tremendous experience,” said Smith about the trip that was underwritten by the Tucumcari Football Club. “We intend to make it an annual trip for all our seniors.”
Smith said this batch of young football players had no ideas what they were getting into at the Las Vegas site but warmed to it quickly once they began the course.
Both Smith and Dunlap said the football players benefitted for the experience.
“I really feel it did help them get closer as a group,” said Dunlap about the success of the ropes course. “I think we’ll see a difference on the field. They learned how to rely on each other.” Smith agreed with Dunlap about the trip and its potential for bringing the team closer.
“Let me tell you,” said Smith. “There is no doubt in my mind that they will be leaders on the team this year.”