Former Broncos player visits Craig

Athlete urges students to stay away from drugs

Representing the Denver Broncos, retired Broncos running back and wide receiver Steve Sewell spoke to students at East Elementary School in Craig Tuesday. His visit came in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week and his message was clear stay away from drugs.

In front of some 300 students, Sewell stressed his point through questions and answers with the students. As a Broncos player, one of the first things he asked the elementary students was whether they were Broncos fans. Students roared with appreciation. After obtaining the students' attention, Sewell talked to them about different lifestyle choices. He kept their attention by offerring to give out prizes at the end of his presentation to those who could remember certain aspects of the speech.

Sewell based his talk on three items.

The first is to work hard in school. He used stories of his school experiences and finished with telling the students he was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.

"Everyday I was going to school to be the smartest kid in school," Sewell said.

His second point was to pick and choose good friends. He told of a story about high school student Harold Morris who had chosen the wrong crowd for friends.

Morris had just received a new vehicle from his parents. He was smart in school, but was picked on by a certain few. One day after school, Morris offered to give two known "bad guys" at the school a ride. They accepted and told Morris to take them to a liquor store in another town because the store clerk did not know who they were and would surely sell alcohol to them. Morris waited in the car for his "friends" to leave the store.

They exited in a blaze. They had attempted to rob the store, but their attempt went wrong.

After the botched robbery in which Morris was merely the unaware driver, his two friends, whom he had chosen because they were tough and people wouldn't pick on him if he was seen with the two roughnecks, ended up killing the store clerk. Upon re-entering Morris' new car Morris asked his two "friends" what had happened. They told him they had stolen the beer and killed the clerk and for him to drive away.

Later, Morris had a knock on the door. It was the police. Apparently, his two "friends" had told police investigators it was Morris who had committed the crime. Morris was sent to jail and spent five years in a correctional facility before being pardoned.

Morris, one of the smartest students in his class, made a mistake. Upon his release from prison, he had one thing to say. He had gotten what he deserved for picking the friends he did.

"Make a decision on who to hang out with," Sewell said. "Nobody's making you be friends with anyone."

His third point hit home with Red Ribbon Week stay away from alcohol and drugs. Simple and straightforward, Sewell hoped it would remain that way.

"Continue the slogan of the week," Sewell said. "'I have got better things to do than drugs.'"

Sewell had the students yell the slogan of the week and a cheer for the Broncos before standing by the exit of the East gym and allowing students to look at his Super Bowl ring.

Sewell played for the Broncos from 1985 to 1992 before retiring. He played in three Super Bowls and wore number 30.

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