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May 03, 2013 05:01 PM

Vikings Star Heads To School

Sioux Falls, SD

Garfield and Woonsocket Elementary were South Dakota's two grand prize winners in the "Fuel Up to Play 60" School Contest. And today both schools celebrated with a Minnesota Viking.

Students at Garfield Elementary have been learning all year about eating right and staying active. Today they got to hear about it from an expert.

Toby Gerhart: "You guys having fun?"
Crowd: "Yeah!"
Toby Gerhart: "My name's Toby, I play with the Vikings."

Minnesota Vikings running back, Toby Gerhart, stopped by Garfield to congratulate the kids on earning the Grand Prize for the state's "Fuel Up to Play 60 School Champions" contest.

"Hopefully if they took anything, it was eat something when you wake up before you get to school. Because the benefits are profound," Gerhart said.

Gerhart even took some time to answer a few questions.

Student: "How long have you been playing and what inspired you to play?"
Gerhart: "I've been playing football for 18 years."

Many students received special prizes for completing Fuel Up to Play exercise challenges. And one young man was named the state's Fuel Up student ambassador.

"I love the program and what they have done. Once I saw the opportunity to do it, I figured it'll be fun. I'll try it, see what it's like. And I love it," 5th grader, Mitch Eichacker said.

All together, the school walked more than 11,000 miles for the Fuel Up challenge. It's hard work like that that makes NFL stars like Gerhart want to come out and show his support.

"We found out one day, we were doing after school meeting and we found out and it was awesome to see that we had a NFL running back actually coming to our school," Eichacker said.

"To a lot of kids you know, we're heroes. And we've got to embrace that and use that to the benefit of the kids. And try to help better them off," Gerhart said.

Second and third place went to Robert Frost Elementary and Edison Middle School, respectively. They each received a prize pack valued at $1,000.

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