Students at Merriman Park Elementary show their football spirit

Students at Merriman Park Elementary caught a little football fever this month when they entered the NFL’s Back-to-Football-Fridays contest. The competition is part of the NFL’s Play 360 campaign, which urges students to be physically active and participate in outdoor and athletic activities.

Students showed their football spirit by wearing jerseys or t-shirts of their favorite players or teams and joining in a variety of fitness activities. Relay races, wall-hangs, jump-roping contests, football throws, rock climbing and all manner of football-style warm-ups were included.

One school from each NFL team market will be chosen, and the winning school will receive a $10,000 health and wellness grant along with an appearance by an NFL team player.

LHHS Quarterback Ricky Zorn welcomes Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo to Wildcat Country in 2008

Each entry also included answers to questions about what health & wellness means to the students and what the school would do if awarded the grant. MPE hopes to purchase new PE equipment if they win, including field markings for football, installation of outdoor basketball hoops and scholarships for students who want to play football in local leagues but can’t afford the joining fees. The winning school in the Dallas Cowboys market will be announced October 4. Oh, and for luck, I’ve included a photo of one guy you might want to see at MPE. Go Panthers!