Free hot chocolate and donuts were the order of the day for the McKinleyville student athletes on Friday morning, courtesy of one of their local rivals.
In recognition of Random Acts of Kindness day, which is Sunday, the Eureka Loggers organized a trip to McKinleyville High to surprise the Panthers with the hot chocolate and donuts.
“Even though they are competitors on the court/field, we wanted to promote positive relationships and sportsmanship amongst other athletes in our league,” Eureka Athletic Director Kristie Christiansen said.
The idea came from the school’s Student Athlete Advisory Council, which meets once a week and is a part of the school’s drive to create a better culture for their student athletes, a drive founded on the nationally recognized InSideOut Initiative.
The council includes one student from each of the sports programs at the school, and all 12 of them were on hand for the surprise visit to McKinleyville.
The McKinleyville student athletes were told there was a mandatory athletics meeting in the back gymnasium at the school, and approximately 200 of them were greeted by the Loggers when they showed up.
The hot chocolate was donated by Dutch Bros., and the donuts were paid for by the Eureka students.
Afterwards, Eureka senior Cruz Montana, a member of the student council, gave a brief speech to the McKinleyville students, promoting good relations and good sportsmanship in the H-DNL, and challenging the Panthers to pay it forward to another school in the area.
The Loggers choose McKinleyville after drawing the school’s name out of a hat.
According to the InSideOut web site, the purpose of the initiative “is to transform the current ‘win-at-all-costs’ sports culture where the value is often defined by the scoreboard, into one that defines and promotes sports as a human growth experience.”