Updated: Oct 19, 2018
Oct. 5, 2018 – From the moment the pair stepped on to the stage, the sounds of excited applause and shouts filled the Andrew Jackson High School auditorium on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
Jacksonville Jaguars Linebackers Telvin Smith Sr. and Myles Jack captivated a crowd of more than 300 with words of encouragement, as well as the introduction of a new program geared toward recognizing student athletes.
“Don’t be a victim of circumstances that’s around you,” Smith Sr. told students. “It’s the mistakes that make you. It’s the mistakes that give you courage to let you know that you can get through situations, overcome situations.”
After speaking to students, Smith Sr. and Jack immediately joined Duval County Public Schools District Athletic Director Tammie Talley and Andrew High School Principal Dr. Tracolya Clinch in kicking off the “Character Cleats” program. Ten Andrew Jackson athletes were brought to the stage and presented with gifts in recognition of their successes – both on and off the field, in the classroom and in life.
“The point that they’re at in life right now is pivotal, they can go one way or the other,” said Jack. "And I feel like, you know, my voice is telling them just to stay focused whatever they want to be, hopefully that inspires them to keep pushing them forward and become what they can be.”
Character Cleats is a partnership of Duval County Public Schools and the Jaguars Foundation. Through the program, student athletes are selected by school administrators to receive a new pair of football cleats, or a gift card to purchase athletic equipment for their sport.
Andrew Jackson football players Ricky Dove, Randolph Myers, John Camel, Connor Clark and Rueben Washington each received a new pair of shoes. Students Treonna Matthews, Josalynn Caryle, Tychelle Newsome, Ry’anna Ousley and Lania Floyd – all multi-sport athletes – received gift cards.