Jaguars special teams players Joe Zelenka and Tony Gilbert were a big hit with a class of special-needs students recently.
The students from Mr. McCreary's second grade class at Sabal Palms Elementary School, consisting of physically handicapped students, were treated to a surprise visit from Zelenka and Gilbert on Tuesday, September 13th.
When the players walked through the door of the classroom, the students' faces lit up with smiles and a few kids giggled. The teacher explained to the players that the kids were in the middle of their lesson in learning about numbers.
"Did you know that we go to school every day, boys and girls, just like you?" Zelenka said to the class. "We use numbers and math to help us learn our plays."
"You see these numbers on our jerseys?" said Gilbert. "The numbers on our jersey helps people know who we are when we are on the field."
One bright little boy named Jack, although confined to a wheelchair, could hardly contain his excitement over meeting real football players.
"How do you score points?" he asked, grinning from ear to ear. Linebacker Tony Gilbert explained, "First you score a touchdown and then the kicker kicks the ball through the goalpost to get an extra point."
Zelenka asked the kids if they watched the Jaguars' season-opening win against the Seattle Seahawks on television, and the kids raised their hands saying, "I did, I did…football, football."
Both players stopped by several classrooms while on their visit to the school. They signed autographs, answered questions and posed for pictures with the students.