Indy Sports Community Welcomes Noblesville Students Back to School

by Greg Rappaport Writer

The first day of school always has its challenges; making new friends, finding your classrooms, getting settled in a new schedule.

But at Noblesville West Middle School, where a shooting on May 25th shocked the town and the state as a whole, the return to school for the first time since the incident had the prospect of being especially difficult.

That's why on Wednesday, as the students and teachers returned to class for the first time, players and mascots from the Pacers, Fever, Colts, Indians, Fuel, Indy Eleven, and IndyCar were on hand to dole out high fives and words of encouragement for the pupils as they entered the building.

"Just welcoming back the kids, getting them excited for school," said Pacers forward Ike Anigbogu. "We had an opportunity to come out here and make an impact, and that's what we're doing."

The impact could quickly be seen as the kids poured through the entryways and were caught off guard by seeing members of the Pacers, mascots, Pacemates, and more.

"For the kids to come back and see all these athletes and mascots, it's really fun and hopefully it will help them for the first day of school," said Pacers Director of Community Relations Kelli Towles.

After the kids had all successfully found their classrooms and settled in, former Colts punter Pat McAfee took over the microphone and led the morning announcements.

"We're giving them that warm feeling," said rookie Alize Johnson when asked about welcoming back the kids and staff of Noblesville West Middle School. "It's their first time back and I think it's going to be a great year."