KWTX Classroom Champions honored

Local high school seniors who excelled in sports and in the classroom had a chance to ask questions to Copperas Cove graduate, Baylor Heisman winning quarterback and current NFL player Robert Griffin III.

Local high school seniors who excelled in sports and in the classroom had a chance to ask questions to Copperas Cove graduate, Baylor Heisman winning quarterback and current NFL player Robert Griffin III.

RG3 made the virtual appearance as part of KWTX's annual Classroom Champions Banquet, sponsored by Texas Best Chevy Dealers, Tuesday which was moved from a traditional in person celebration to a zoom meeting due to the threat of COVID-19.

The Ravens quarterback talked about everything from growing up in Cove, which he said are still his "most fun" memories in his life to the highs and lows of professional football and even touched on his future plans after he retires.

"I appreciate you guys giving me the opportunity to talk to these high school seniors," Griffin said.

The quarterback was relaxed as he sat on the floor of a home where he's staying in the DFW area as his season remains on hold. He spent more than an hour talking to the award recipients who had plenty of questions for the QB.

Salado student Piper Randolph asked Griffin what was the hardest decision he had to make in his journey so far.

"My hardest decision had to be what school to go to," Griffin said. "The way I made that decision was, this will sound cliche, but I trusted my instincts, I trusted my gut."

Andrew Posey from Temple High school wanted to know how important the pro athlete thought attitude and work ethic were to success.

"I think the most important thing is to being the same person every single day," Griffin answered. "First impressions, they are golden."

Griffin joked with senior Grace Wallace about being from Harker Heights with plans to attend Texas A&M in the fall.

"We used to dominate both of those schools," Griffin laughed.

"I was going to have a nice question but you can't play football forever and my parents went downhill at 40 so I just wonder if you have any plans after the NFL?" she jokingly piped back.

Griffin said he's considering becoming a lawyer and laughed as he noted Grace's parents were in view of the discussion.

"Oh man, I think her parents are right there, too."

Connally senior Brian Williams listened as Griffin talked about dealing with the pressures of becoming a household name seemingly overnight.

He wanted to know more about how he deals with self doubt with the noise gets loud.

"The thing you have to do in those moments is move on. Clear it. You make a mistake, don't freak out. In the times you loose, it's how you respond," he said.

"For me, I definitely had a spell when I was playing not only high school, but college and the pros where I wasn't as confident as I should have been and the way I got out of it was to piggyback off the success. 'Okay I made the right read . It was the easiest read in the world but guess what I made that read. I did that!

The seniors seemed particularly interested in a shared, unique bond they share with the pro athlete.

Griffin also missed his spring semester of his senior year after he entered Baylor a semester early at 17 in order to pursue his goal of representing the US in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He ended up falling one spot short of the finals. Robert ended up missing out on end-of-the year traditions, celebrations and spring sports, the same situation those on the call are experiencing after COVID-19 unexpectedly closed schools.

China Spring award winner McKayla Pack sked what advice he had for them as they deal with the disappointment.

"For the athletes, you're missing out on the euphoria of your senior year, your last year," Griffin said. "So my advice is not to dwell on that but use that as fuel as you move forward to know that 'man I didn't get a chance to experience that so everyday from here on out I'm going to cherish every moment because you never know when the next pandemic is going to happen."

Griffin ended by congratulating the Classroom Champions class of 2020 and encouraging them to enjoy every moment, including the highs and the lows and when the lows do come to keep on pushing on.

"There is going to be times when you have to face obstacles, myself I've had to face them," Griffin said. "You guys have probably had to face them. Every time you get knocked down tell yourself I'm going to get back up. Get back up, keep fighting. Go after whatever it is you're trying to accomplish. If you truly believe in something go after it, go get it and you can accomplish all the dreams you want."