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Packer Weekly: Fuel up to Play 60 brings in Toby Gerhart

Fuel Up to Play 60 has been an active group in the West Fargo halls for three years and this year they were able to bring in a special guest for the students, Minnesota Viking running back Toby Gerhart. Students wrote an essay for the chance to get the famous football player to the school and Midwest Dairy sponsored Gerhart’s visit.

“I think the fact that he is really well known [is what makes him a good role model,]” senior Lindsey Nerby said. “People will be more inspired because people like him are [in the group.] [Gerhart’s visit to West Fargo] is great because it encourages people to go out and be active and live a healthier lifestyle.”

Nerby has taken the pledge to be active for at least an hour a day herself and works out with her mom after school. Although Nerby only joined Fuel Up to Play 60 this year, she is already excited to participate more in the community.

Nerby is not the only student who takes physical fitness seriously though. Senior Ashley Bixby believes it is essential for students to be more educated about health.

“Everyone should live a healthy lifestyle,” Bixby said. “It’s hard to live that lifestyle without the proper knowledge [of how to be healthier.]”

Fuel Up to Play 60 was founded by the National Dairy Council with the hopes of making students more active. This program has teamed up with the National Football League (NFL) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to make getting active more enjoyable for students.

“I play sports and work out and try to eat as healthy as I can,” Bixby said. “I’ve learned those things by listening to people like Toby. I wouldn’t be able to do that [being healthier] without the knowledge that they give me.”

Gerhart has been working with Fuel Up to Play 60 for a few years and thinks that it is a great way for students to get active in their everyday life. He encouraged students to take the pledge along with him to be active for at least 60 minutes every day.

“Dream big and work hard,” Gerhart said. “It’s tough and there are a lot of ups and downs but if you put your mind to it and stay with it there’s always a chance.”

Gerhart attributes a lot of his success to eating a healthy breakfast in the morning and being active during the day. Even though he admits that he is not so great about eating a healthy dinner, he says that is why he works even harder on the field.

“I get to live the dream each and every day,” Gerhart said. “Hard work [is key], I mean I’m living the dream like I said and I’m fortunate and blessed.”

By Nicole Johnson

(The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety school-related topics and activities. For additional information visit