Pubdate: Thu, 26 Oct 2006
Source: Troy Messenger (AL)
Copyright: 2006 Troy Messenger
Author: Andy Brown


Troy University junior quarterback Omar Haugabook is usually on the 
receiving end of cheers, but on Thursday morning the Troy signal 
caller was the one leading the cheers as Haugabook and several of his 
teammates spoke to students at Troy Elementary School about the 
dangers of drugs as part of the 2006 Red Ribbon Week Campaign.

The Red Ribbon Campaign is now the oldest and largest drug prevention 
program in the nation reaching millions of young people during Red 
Ribbon Week, October 23-October 31 each year. The campaign's message is simple.

Say no to drugs.

It's a message that was reinforced by Haugabook and his teammates and 
coaches on Tuesday.

"I know a lot of you want to be lawyers or doctors or professional 
athletes, but you can't be those things if you're doing drugs," 
Haugabook told the students. "You have to say no to drugs."

Troy assistant coaches Shayne Wasden and James Joseph, along with 
Troy's Gary Banks, James Gardner, Jason Wright and Zach Yenser teamed 
with Haugabook in sharing with the students about the importance of 
making good decisions and surrounding themselves with positive influences.

"You need friends to help you make good decisions," Banks said.

"Whether you realize it now or not, you guys impact each other. You 
pay attention to what your friends are doing and you want to fit in 
so you do some of the same things.

"That's why it's important to surround yourself with good people that 
will help you stay committed to not doing drugs or using alcohol. You 
can all choose to be a positive influence on each other."

Wasden gave the students a simple formula to follow when making decisions.

"Anytime you make an important decision you need to have a plan," 
Wasden said. "Ask yourself, 'Is this right? Is it wrong? Is it good? 
Is it bad?' Then have the courage to do what is right and good. It's 
your responsibility to make good decisions."

Joseph echoed Wasden's message by sharing a story from his own childhood.

"In seventh grade I was sick," Joseph said. "I took my medicine to 
school, but I didn't get permission ahead of time to have it at 
school. So, when I asked the teacher if I could take it, she sent me 
to the office and I spent the next nine weeks at alternative school. 
Was that fair?

"Yeah, it was because I didn't do the right thing at the time. It was 
my responsibility to take that medicine to the office and have it 
checked by the school and I didn't do it. I could have hurt one of my 
classmates if they had taken it."

While each coach and player presented the message in a different way, 
the overall message was clear - say no to drugs.

The Trojans' message was met with a loud cheer, led by Haugabook, 
from the students - "SAY NO TO DRUGS!"
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