Roughriders DL Zach Evans visits winning Yorkton kids

The Saskatchewan Roughriders challenged kids across the province to read -- and read a lot. How many? How about 100 books? For Yorkton’s young readers, well, challenge accepted.

The Riders kicked off their annual Rider Reading program -- no pun intended -- and of all the schools that entered, two Yorkton schools came out on top. Students from Yorkdale Central School and St. Alphonsus won this year’s Rider Reading challenge, and defensive linebacker Zach Evans came to both schools to talk about holding on to your dreams.

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“Dreams can change,” Evans said, “But have them. They can be small, they can be big -- but have them. For me, mine was to win a Grey Cup.”

Evans clearly has done so -- he won the 104th Grey Cup in 2016 while playing with the Ottawa Redblacks -- and the born and raised Saskatchewan native appears to be well on his way to another on his home team.

“The other is to be a good dad.”

Judging by the repoire with the students, that seems to be a solid ‘check’ too.

One dream that appeared to be universal was the desire to see a tackle technique demonstrated on the teacher and the principal, clearly good sports.

The entire gymnasium of St. Alphonsus erupted into a chant in unison:

“Tackle him! Tackle him! Tackle him!”

In order for schools to meet the Rider Reading challenge, they had to read 100 books. St. Alphonsus had completed the 100 books just prior to finding out that they had been selected as the winners of the 2019 challenge.

To win, schools had to follow the printable activities, “Riderize” their reading and get it on camera. Through March, those photos and clips were then posted to Facebook with the hashtag #RiderReadingMonth.

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