Bryson Burchett, a fifth-grade student at Northfield Elementary, recently had the opportunity to bring a Tennessee Titan to school with him – virtually, of course.
“I saw a commercial during the Titans’ first game that said you could win if you sent them a 30-second video of why you would want one of the players to come to school with you,” Burchett, who is a huge Titans fan, said. “So I did.”
Burchett, who plays basketball for the Northfield Huskies, said he was at practice when WKRN Channel 2 called to tell him the good news: he would be hosting Titans center Ben Jones and getting to introduce him to his classmates.
“I was so excited,” he said.
Of course, with the COVID-19 restrictions, Jones wasn’t able to actually attend school with Burchett, so a Zoom meeting was set up so the two could chat and learn more about each other. Burchett’s classmates were able to have a watch party in the school’s library and say hello to Jones when they were given a moment to be on camera as well.
Before the meeting, which was moderated by WKRN’s Silvia Casteneda, Burchett made a list of 10 questions he would ask Jones to learn more about the center.
The fifth grader found that he and Jones had several things in common, including having played multiple sports, math being their favorite subject in school, and having a big love for fishing (bass fishing in particular).
Burchett did learn the two differed in their car preferences, however, with Jones loving his Ford F-150 because it has enough room for his fishing poles and Burchett liking Camaros.
“I like its looks,” Burchett told the Titan. “Some of them have what looks like gills on the sides, and I think that makes them look like sharks, and I like sharks.”
Jones talked about his pre-game ritual - one he has had since his high school playing days.
“I walk around the field barefoot and listen to gospel music,” he said, and told Burchett the first time he performed the now-habitual routine, his brother, who was a quarterback in high school, had a great game, and they won. Now, Jones uses the routine to honor his brother as well as prepare mentally for the game ahead of him.
Burchett asked what advice Jones might have for young athletes like himself who might be thinking about a future in athletics.
“Being an athlete in the league is all about being disciplined, having a routine,” Jones said, telling Burchett that everything matters, from getting a good night sleep, to waking up on time, to what you put in your body. “I try to eat the right things so I’m able to go out there and perform at a high level.”
In a surprise twist for Burchett, he was then asked what advice he might have for Jones.
“Do what he does best,” Burchett said confidently, saying that he thinks the Titans are on the road to the Super Bowl.
Jones agreed enthusiastically with the advice he was offered.
“That’s right, you can only control what you can do,” he said. “Everything else will work out.”
Before signing off, Burchett was told that Titans Coach Mike Vrabel will be sending Northfield Elementary “The Hog Mollies” series for their library, and Burchett would be receiving a backpack full of Titans swag.
Principal Beth Peek said Northfield was proud to host Jones for the Take a Titan 2 School event and that Burchett was the perfect person to be the host.
“Bryson is a good student, and we are all so proud of him,” she said. “The things that Ben Jones told him all matched up with what Bryson does every day. He always works hard, gives his best, and is so respectful. He was the perfect person to be a representative for our school.”