With numerous sophomores and juniors playing key roles, Westerville North High School football coach Mike Owens entered this season believing that building camaraderie would be vital for the present and future of his program.

With numerous sophomores and juniors playing key roles, Westerville North High School football coach Mike Owens entered this season believing that building camaraderie would be vital for the present and future of his program.

One thing the Warriors are doing to make that happen occurs Friday afternoons before their pregame meal.

On game day, Owens takes a group of eight players on a walk to nearby Robert Frost Elementary to talk with students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The players wear their home jerseys on days when there is a North home game and a shirt and tie on days of road games.

"It's something we started this year as a way to give back to the community and for our guys to understand the importance of giving back," Owens said. "I'm really proud of our guys. I did this when I was the head coach at Mechanicsburg. It was obviously a lot easier there because the elementary was attached to the school, but toward the end of last year I decided that I wanted to get this going here this year."

Warriors players participated in the project the first four weeks of the season before taking a break from it Sept. 23 because there was no school that day.

They're expected to return to Robert Frost for about an hour each Friday for the remainder of the season.

Before the Warriors' opening 21-7 loss to Worthington Kilbourne on Aug. 26, senior quarterback B.J. Campfield and senior running back and safety Kory Watson were among the players who talked to students at Robert Frost.

Campfield and sophomore Nula Kamara answered a variety of questions from a fourth-grade English class.

"I think it's been very positive," Campfield said. "I didn't realize it, but they actually look up to a lot of high school players and asked us a lot of questions and gave us some positive feedback. We just talked a little bit about ourselves and they asked us what positions we played and how high school is. I think it's really good giving kids like that something to look forward to and giving them a role model."

Although the Warriors lost to Westerville Central 41-8 on Sept. 23 for their 30th consecutive loss, the community service project is something that Campfield believes has been a positive for the team.

North enters its game Friday, Sept. 30, at Dublin Scioto at 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

"I would say that it has brought some camaraderie to the team," Campfield said. "It's a chance to just bond and have fun with little kids, which is pretty special. On the way back to the cafeteria, we talked about what we did in the classroom, but once we got back into the building, we talked about what we needed to do that night (in the game)."

"I thought it was a pretty cool experience," said Watson, who attended a math and science class during his trip to Robert Frost. "It was interesting talking to the kids and teaching them stuff. We went in and introduced ourselves and walked around to different tables and helped them with their math. They asked what positions we played and are we good. It's good because before a game you're all really hyped up to play and it kind of calms you down. It's a good thing to do and the kids really enjoy it."

Hours after Campfield talked at Robert Frost on Aug. 26, he threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Norris Freeman. Campfield played some of the Kilbourne game with a dislocated hip and didn't play in the Warriors' 42-28 loss to Groveport on Sept. 2, but returned for North's 35-7 loss Sept. 9 to Olentangy Orange.

Dublin Jerome turned seven turnovers by the Warriors into 35 points during a 49-2 decision Sept. 16.

In the midst of North's offensive struggles, Owens has been pleased with the play of Campfield and Watson as well as an offensive line that includes seniors Pablo Delafe and Kyle Fugger, juniors Peter Sandvik and Joe Willis and sophomore Jared Sroufe.

The experiences the Warriors have had at Robert Frost, according to Owens, have been among the biggest bright spots during a season in which success hasn't come in the win column.

"They're very positive with the kids and very respectful," Owens said. "I told them that before they do this, whether or not it translates into wins, it doesn't matter. This is important because these kids are looking at you in awe."