For Daybreak anchor Donovan Long, the weekly Football Frenzy Tailgate is a time to not only celebrate with area high school students but also to inspire them for the future. Long said visiting with the students helps create a more authentic and relatable portrait of the Daybreak team, which can help students think about their own future careers. He talked about the tailgate experience.

Q: What do you enjoy most about getting out and visiting the high schools during Football Frenzy?

A: I really like connecting with the students, teachers and administrators on a personal level. It’s a way for the team and me to show them we care and value their presence in our community. Moreover, I enjoy spending time with the young people because it’s a chance for me too, prayerfully, uplift and show them that they, too, can have bright futures when they leave high school.

Q: What do you think the students enjoy about having WOOD TV8’s Daybreak team out on the field?

A: I think the students enjoy seeing how relatable and authentic our Daybreak team is. I think some may even be surprised to find how much we love to laugh and how committed we are to making sure they leave the field with great memories.

Q: Can we expect push-up competitions again this season?

A: You’re going to have to tune in to find out, but I will say, I’m not backing down from any challenge!

Q: Football Frenzy is also tied to our annual Feeding America food drive, how important is that connection and what do you think that brings to the energy and excitement during Football Frenzy to have this added “competition.”

A: The connection is significantly important and it’s imperative that we continue to use our platform to make a difference in our own backyard. So many families go without, and it’s incumbent on us to do what we can to connect them with resources they may not even know exist. Journalism is all about service, and our partnership with Feeding America is a testament to the fact that our work extends beyond the anchor desk. All of that contributes to the excitement that builds around the competition.