SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 21, 2012

'Super' Beverly athletes inspire

Championship players visit School for the Deaf

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — BEVERLY — With a football in his hands, 10-year-old Brian Jimenez signaled to Beverly High School football captain Marc Babcock to go long to catch it.

Babcock, one of the captains who helped lead the team to victory in the Division 2A Super Bowl, ran to the back of the gym at the Beverly School for the Deaf to catch the pass.

“We have a future quarterback right here,” Babcock said of Brian, who lives in Salem.

Babcock, along with left tackle Kevin Kennedy and co-captain Kenny Pierce, greeted students at the school yesterday to talk about their Super Bowl victory and to play ball with the kids. After tossing the ball around for a few minutes, several students participated in a mock football game.

“It was really cool to be able to throw the ball around and learn from them,” Brian said through a sign language interpreter. “In the future, I want to learn more.”

Brian, a self-proclaimed big football fan, and the other students were impressed to see the large rings the three players were awarded after winning the Super Bowl in 2010.

“I want that big ring someday,” he said. “Yeah, I definitely want to be a quarterback.”

Max Plansky, 12, of Danvers, who speaks with an alternative communication device attached to his wheelchair, spoke with Kennedy about their different workout routines.

“We got up at 6 a.m., three days a week, to work out,” Kennedy said. “There was a lot of running and lifting.”

Mark Carlson, president of the school, said the three high school students were quick to respond when asked to visit with children at the school.

“It shows their community goes far beyond just Beverly High School,” he said. “They understand that our kids with special needs look up to them as role models.”

They taught the kids several football maneuvers during the visit.

“I liked seeing them have fun and being able to teach them things they didn’t know, like snapping the ball,” Kennedy said.

Babcock said it meant a lot for him to be asked by the school to come visit with the kids, especially during the holiday season.

“Being able to play with kids and seeing them smile is the reason why we did this,” he said. “If anything we were the lucky ones.”