Three B.C. Lions players received a hero's welcome from Dufferin elementary school students during a surprise visit on Monday.
Parent volunteer Elizabeth Griffiths happened to be at the school Monday afternoon and was stunned to see the athletes.
"I was like 'Angus Reid is in the house!'" she said, adding that her 11-year-old, football playing, twin boys were even more thrilled.
Angus Reid, Courtney Taylor and Adam Bighill are dropping in to several schools in Kamloops this week to deliver a triple shot of personal life lessons to the city's youth.
Sponsored by the Industry Training Authority, CN Rail and the football franchise itself, the players each took turns advising the kids to be unrelenting in their pursuit of dreams, to make good decisions and stay safe.
They punctuated their points by enrolling the Grade 6 and 7 students into a push up competition, a tug of war and a rally race.
"This whole program is about teaching you to follow what you want to do," said Reid.
Originally from Alabama, 28-year-old Taylor encouraged the kids to stay on the straight and narrow. When he was their age, he said, some of his friends started stealing and carjacking. He refused to join in.
Now some of his friends are in jail and others have thanked him for influencing them to stay out of trouble.
"Just remember, the power of choice is very, very strong," he told the students.
Taylor went on to say that his dreams came true when he was drafted by the NFL's Seattle Seahawks in 2007. The following year he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But he made another choice at that point.
"I made a decision," he said. "I don't care what disease I have, I'm going to play football. Today I play with the B.C. Lions — a great team. And I love it."
Twenty-four-year-old Bighill shared his story of growing up in a "one stoplight" town in Washington thinking he might want to be an architect.
Sports eventually became his calling, which shows dreams and aspirations can change, he said.
He delivered sponsor Industry Training Authority's message that skilled trades can be fulfilling and high paying.
Reid capped off the event with a message about safety along railway lines and through life.
"The reason I've been able to play football 13 years, which makes me a dinosaur, is I abide by the safety rules," said the 36-year-old.
He advised the kids to "stop, look and listen" at railway intersections by removing headphones, looking up from texting and crossing at designated areas.
"Keep moving forward to what you want to do in life," said Reid. "Don't let a shortcut cut your life short."
The trio drops into Brocklehurst middle school and Parkcrest elementary today. On Wednesday they'll visit Aberdeen and Summit elementary schools.