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Tyler Legacy football players surprise elementary students with Christmas gifts for holidays

Tyler Legacy High School football players surprised the students with gifts as part of the second annual “Adopt a Cougar” event.
Credit: Ana Conejo - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Clarkston Elementary first-grader Denice Pringle opens up a book given by Tyler Legacy football player Brittan Ray.

TYLER, Texas — Eighteen Clarkston Elementary students had a special visit from local athletes Tuesday morning.

Tyler Legacy High School football players surprised the students with gifts as part of the second annual “Adopt a Cougar” event.

“It was so fun,” Clarkston Elementary first-grader Denice Pringle screamed after opening her gifts.

Clarkston Elementary Principal Tara Hinton said the program was established last year in collaboration with Tyler Legacy’s head coach Joe Willis.

“Coach Willis and I collaborated together, this is something we’ve both done in previous schools when we were in the Central Texas area, so we just collaborated together and thought it would be something we would do here,” she said.

Hinton said each of the 18 students ranging from different grade levels were handpicked from teachers or the counselor.

“We got together with our teachers and counselors and we looked for students that are the most deserving and most needed,” Hinton said. “We got permission from their parents and we saw we could help them make their Christmas wish list come true.”

The event also featured a breakfast between the students and football players, who each “adopted” a child to surprise. Each athlete picked an ornament from a Christmas tree inside the field house, Willis said.

Read more from our newspaper partners, the Tyler Morning Telegraph.