Wilder-Waite Grade School welcomes Peoria Rivermen

Chelsea Peck
Anthony Nigro, left, and Graham Mink of the Peoria Rivermen talk to Wilder-Waite Grade School.

Students at Wilder-Waite Grade School had the chance to listen to and ask questions of two local athletes Wednesday.

Graham Mink and Anthony Nigro of the Peoria Rivermen talked to the school about good character, giving examples from their own lives.

The Rivermen broke down the word “goals” into five important traits that contribute to good character.

“‘G’ stands for getting along with others. If there’s people not getting along, it doesn’t accomplish what you want,” Mink said.

“‘O’ stands for overcoming obstacles. Last year I hurt my hand, and I wasn’t able to play in games. That was really hard for me but it was important to stay positive. I talked to my coach and my mom and dad and they kept me positive,” he explained.

“A” stood for always have a good attitude, which Mink also attributed to staying positive.

“If you don’t look at the positives, hard times are much harder to get through,” Mink said.

“‘L’ stands for listening to others. When we are at the rink and coach is going over a drill and we are looking up at the ceiling and not paying attention, we’ll mess up the drill and get in trouble.

“We also want to show respect for our coach and you for your teachers and listen to them. If you listen to them, they’ll listen to you,” Nigro said.

The final letter, “S,” stood for showing good sportsmanship.

“After every series we play, whether we win or lose, every team lines up on the ice to shake hands. It’s very important to show respect and if you lose, be a good sport about it,” Mink said.

The students were then able to ask questions of the players, which ranged from, “How do you warm up before games?” to “Have you ever gotten in a fight?”

Community relations coordinator for the Peoria Rivermen Kari Gabbert said the G.O.A.L.S. assembly was created this year.

To top it off, students received a gift from the team.

“Each student that participated got a voucher for free admission for themself and another child with a paid adult ticket, and every staff got a free seat as well,” Gabbert said.