CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - A day before opening the 2014 season, the UNC football team kicked off another hallmark of the fall: Friday visits to North Carolina Children's Hospital.
UNC student-athletes spend time at N.C. Children's Hospital year-round, but the visits by football players on Fridays before home games has become a tradition. For the first visit of the fall, a group that included 22 players and several staff members made the short walk from Kenan Football Center up to UNC Hospitals just after lunchtime.
They spent their time there signing posters, posing for pictures, and talking with patients and their families. The children were excited to talk with the Tar Heels, and discussed everything from playing positions to favorite movies.
"These visits are important to our players because they understand they are in a fortunate position and we believe the best way to show appreciation for that is to give to someone who might be in a less fortunate situation," said Ron Brewer, Director of Student-Athlete Development for Football.
Players who participated in the visit were Brandon Fritts, Allen Artis, Ben Craig, Thomas Jackson, Nathan Staub, Nick Weiler, Kyle Murphy, Romar Morris, Tyler Royal, Luke Heavner, John Ferranto, Schuyler Coleman, Elijah Hood, Jarrod James, Myers Colvin, Jeremiah Clarke, Andrew Moore, Alex Bales, Jeff Schoettmer, Eric Albright, Shakeel Rashad and Allen Champagne.
"Today was a great way to brighten the kids' day and show them we care," said Tyler Royal, a sophomore running back.
Carolina hosts Liberty Saturday at Kenan Stadium. Kickoff is 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.