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Catawba Students Get Advice on Developing "Game Plan for Life"

October 27, 2014

Category: Events, Students


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 L-R: Wynn, Leckonby and Portis

By Courtney Briscoe '16

On Thursday, October 23rd, Catawba College became the only college in the area to receive a visit from "Game Plan for Life" speakers and former NFL players Renaldo Wynn and Clinton Portis. Wynn was previously a defensive end for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New Orleans Saints, the New York Giants, and the Washington Redskins. Portis is best known for being a running back for the Denver Broncos and then the Washington Redskins.

"Game Plan for Life" itself is based on the concepts described in the motivational book of the same name that was written by former Redskins coach and North Carolina native, Joe Gibbs. In a gathering held in the Abernethy Physical Education Center, Catawba College's Athletic Director Larry Leckonby introduced Wynn first and allowed him to explain what the organization was all about.

"Decisions dictating your destiny," he repeated a couple of times. Wynn spoke loudly in a casual but confident way, so he in short order grabbed the audience's attention. He went on to explain that decisions (good and bad) are a reflection of one's self, one's team, and one's family. He assured the students in attendance that though they cannot change unforeseen circumstances, they can change their attitude.

Wynn described his personal college experience in which he was headed down the road of failure, including the possibility of dropping out, until his wife helped him get back on track. Wynn encouraged the students of Catawba College to surround themselves with people who will lift them up, not tear them down. He also stressed the importance of keeping in mind your own influence on others.

When it came time for Portis to take the microphone, he thanked Wynn for the introduction and expanded on what his former teammate had said. He agreed that it is important to surround yourself with positive influences, but added that you also must be able to take responsibility for your own actions. He told the audience that it is okay to have a family member or team member weigh in on a decision you are trying to make, but you should leave the final decision to yourself because in the end, it is your life and your destiny you are trying to form, not theirs.

After the assembly, Leckonby arrived back on the scene to thank the two men for sharing their time and stories with us. After a huge applause for Wynn and Portis, everyone was dismissed, but many stayed behind to thank them for coming and to take photographs.