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Tony Elliot Visiting Powhatan High School


On Wednesday, March 27, Morgan’s Message invited a special guest speaker. Coach Tony Elliott, head coach at UVA Football, came to PHS to share an important message about mental health.

The event took place in the library and was open to all students. The library was filled with student athletes of all sports. The guest speaker was a surprise for many as his name was not disclosed when the guest speaker announcement was posted.

Coach Elliot presented a slideshow called ‘Happy and Healthy Life’ that had a big message in the short amount of time he had. The University of Virginia had a tragedy in the football program during a school shooting, so he had first hand experience with the mental health aspect of athletes. He had also shared his childhood experiences and the hardships he had faced growing up.

Coach Elliott expressed the importance of your identity as a person and what makes this identity. He had a big focus on the message that your role is not your identity your sport does not define you. He also spoke on having an inside out mentality as well as the challenges of social media.

At the end, he opened up for questions in which he was asked about how him as well as his players responded to the tragic shooting. His answer simply was that it was not easy standing up on their feet with the blame and guilt was overpowering, but their faith carried them through it. “Tragedy into triumph” is what he said and they lived and fought for that.

All the subjects he touched upon not only apply to athletes, but everyday life and are important things to build your life on. Worry about your identity and faith as a person and the rest will fall in place.

His final words were a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that all he allowed students to sit and reflect on. We appreciate Tony Elliot for taking his time out of his day to speak with Powhatan Students and his words will help many.

Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values becomes your destiny.

— Mahatma Gandhi



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About the Contributor
Hailey Ragland
Hailey Ragland, contributor
Hailey Ragland is a sophomore at Powhatan high school and is part of the class of 2026. This is her first year in journalism and is really looking forward to it. Outside of school, Hailey enjoys playing volleyball and hopes to attend a four year college and play volleyball. Hailey is an active member in the PHS community she is part of class council and SGA as well as taking part in many clubs. She feels the news is important because it is important people are informed about what is going on in the world around them.

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