Kids — and adults — of all ages turned out to mingle with Bastrop's two NFL players at the Rueben Randle/Marshay Green Fun Day, held Saturday at Dotson Park. The event was presented by Kuntry Boyz.
Randle, a wide receiver from LSU, is entering his rookie season with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Green, a cornerback from Ole Miss, is beginning his third season as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
Both players spoke encouraging words to the youth and signed hundreds of autographs. In addition to spending time with the youngsters, both visited with numerous former Bastrop High teammates who attended the event.
Randle and Green both seemed to enjoy the day as much as the youth.
“It's great to have the kids out here and have a good turnout,” said Randle, who reports to the Giants' training camp on July 25.
“It's an honor to be able to come back,” said Green, who reports to the Cardinals' camp on July 24. “It's always good to come back and give back to the kids.”
Both shared a similar message to the young people.
“I just try to give them a positive message,” Randle said. “I tell them to stay positive, work hard and stay away from the negativity. Basically, I just remind them to always do the right thing.”
“I always talk to the kids about faith, family and focus,” Green said. “You can do anything as long as you put God first and family second. If you stay focused, you can accomplish your dreams.”
Auburn Robinson, an area minister who attended the event, hopes others will be encouraged by the positive examples set by Randle and Green.
“We're trying to get our youth back in touch with reality to let them know that regardless of where they came from or what they're going through, they can still rise above their circumstances and be successful in life,” Robinson said. “We're trying to teach them about the values of morals and self-discipline. If you discipline yourself, you can achieve any goal in life.
“We're trying to teach them about togetherness and family unity. We're trying to bring light back into the community through family orientation, love and concern for others.”