Long before Perkins High School running back Collin Nemitz made a name for himself on the gridiron, he paid attention to his vocabulary lessons back at Meadowlawn Intermediate School.
Over the past few weeks, as Collin has been excelling on the football field and breaking the PHS records for yardage gained, he also has found himself being quoted in the Sandusky Register.
He’s dropped words like “fulfilled,” “redemption,” and “momentum” – words that came straight from 5th Grade Meadowlawn teacher Marcia Collart’s vocabulary playbook.
Mrs. Collart has noticed. She has created a shrine of sorts for Collin on a bulletin board in the 5th Grade hallway, which includes photos and his quotes. She also invited him to visit her students.
Collin, along with PHS sophomore quarterback Logan Lesch, responded to Mrs. Collart’s invitation on Thursday and visited with 5th graders at Meadowlawn, including those in Mrs. Collart’s class.
Students peppered Collin and Logan with questions. Lots of questions.
The first question: Do you have to think about what you’re going to say to newspaper reporters?
After a brief second or two, Collin responded: “Yes. I have to think about what I’m going to say. I don’t want to sound bad.”
That played into Mrs. Collart’s lesson today.
She reminded the students that expanding their vocabularies pays dividends down the road.
“These two famous people you see here today,” said Mrs. Collart pointing at Collin and Logan, “are two former Meadowlawn students. When you grow up, you want to be smart like they are.”
Not only does that mean studying vocabulary words, it’s paying attention in class and completing homework and assignments, Collin and Logan said.
They told the young Pirates that balancing athletics with the demands of going to school, including getting their homework done, is important.
“You’ve got to have a goal,” Logan said. “When you reach that goal, it feels amazing.”
The goals for these two Pirates over the next couple of weeks is clear: Go deep into the high school football playoffs.
They will for sure have a few new fans in grandstands – and reading the newspaper to see what they say.