June 22, 2013
Sensational, intelligent Destroyer proves it at school talk
By CALEB SMITH - For SLAM! Wrestling
The sensational, intelligent Destroyer went back to school recently to talk with the grade 4 to 8 students at James Morden Public School in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Over the school year the school has invited guest speakers, such as the Mayor of Niagara Falls and Rugby Canada's Ray Barkwill, to talk to the students about the importance of education and how it can open doors for you in the future.
The Destroyer regaled the students with anecdotes about his life as a student/athlete at Syracuse University, a coach, a wrestler, author and educator. His emphasized to the students that his education allowed him to be offered multiple jobs upon graduation from Syracuse University.
"I was offered a job as a coach and school teacher and to become a wrestler. I was a math major so I did some quick calculations and figured that wrestling would make me more money," explained The Destroyer.
He was also offered a chance to coach football at Syracuse and wrestle as well. The Destroyer hit on a theme that the grade 7 and 8 students have been covering this year, racism in North America.
"When I was coaching football at Syracuse we had a few black athletes,” explained The Destroyer. "We went to play in the Cotton Bowl and went to check into the hotel. When the clerk saw that we had two black players, Ernie Davis and John Brown, he said that the white players could say but, the black fellows had to go. Our coach said that if the hotel wasn't going to accept all of our players then none would stay there."
James Morden grade 4 teacher Kerry Felstead was impressed with The Destroyer's connection to the kids.
"At first the kids were a little concerned that a masked man was talking to them. He quickly won them over," said Felstead.
One of the questions that swayed the crowd was when The Destroyer was asked if he had ever wrestled The Rock. "No I haven't," said The Destroyer, "but I've know him since he was a baby and I wrestled The Rock's grandfather.”
Suitably impressed the children hung off of his every word. One of the highlights was when he explained his different wrestling personas and let some of the kids dress up as The Destroyer and Dr. X.
"What a pleasure it was to have The Destroyer come and meet our students," said Felstead. "He has had a unique and interesting life and really connected with the students. After the students left staff members asked him numerous questions, bought Destroyer masks and truly enjoyed meeting such a good man."
To the students of James Morden Public School, The Destroyer was everything he was advertised as, sensational and intelligent. More importantly he is and was a great example to children that education can help you achieve your dreams.
Caleb Smith is ...