When Fayetteville-Manlius Varsity Football Team Co-Captain Conner Chen was asked to choose a teacher for the F-M Honorary Coach program, he immediately thought of Eagle Hill Middle School teacher Anita Davis.
“She was one of the most influential teachers I’ve ever had,” said Chen, a high school senior who moved from Shanghai, China, to F-M when he was a fifth grade student. “She made me feel welcome, told me to be who I am and confident about my Asian heritage, and I wanted to honor her.”
Since 2006, the F-M High School varsity football team has chosen educators admired by the players to be part of the football program for each home game. They attend practice on the Wednesday before the home game, speak to the team after Thursday's practice, and are with the team on the sidelines during Friday’s game.
“We give this honor and recognize the educators in front of our large home game crowds, because we believe football is an educational program,” said Head Varsity Coach Paul Muench, who teaches social studies at F-M High School. “The more teachers that are a part of our program, the more insight they will have about what is accomplished on the field every day.”
F-M High School Guidance Counselor Doug Madden will serve as the honorary coach for the 7 p.m. Oct. 14 varsity football game between F-M and Corcoran High School. The game will take place at the F-M High School Turf Field, located next to the high school and district office building on E. Seneca Turnpike in Manlius.
Davis was Chen’s first teacher at F-M. She now teaches sixth grade at Eagle Hill.
“We were both in our first year at F-M which created a special bond, and I think the warm welcome he received from the Eagle Hill community was also very important to him,” Davis said.