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Obama's surprise stop at Galesburg High School

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Galesburg stop pool report by David Boyer, Washington Times

The president made an unadvertised stop at Galesburg High School in Galesburg, IL, at 3:20 p.m. CDT, where he met students, watched the football team practice and posed for photos with kids.

As the president approached the practice football field ("Home of the Silver Streaks"), a player could be heard exclaiming "O sh--!" The president watched the offense and defense scrimmage from the sidelines for several minutes while he chatted with football coach Tim Dougherty.

After watching at least a dozen plays in the warm sunshine, the team was called together and the president approached them on the field.

"Take a knee," Mr. Obama said, and the team knelt before him. "You guys look good out there. I know you guys are going to have a great season."
"We've been traveling all across Iowa and Illinois, everywhere we go," he said he has seen people who are motivated to do their best. "
"You don't win every game, but if you guys stick together, and you guys are playing hard, and you're paying attention to your subjects, I have no doubt you guys" will succeed.
"That's what we need as a country, everybody chipping in, playing together, being motivated, doing their best," Mr. Obama said.
"I just want to say I'm proud of you. I don't want to interrupt your practice. You needed a little bit of a breather, I saw you guys out here," he said to the players' laughter. "It was pretty hot."
"You guys stay focused and you stay together."
The coach then led the players in the team motto, two claps in unison followed by their shout of "Win the Day!"
The president said, "Win the day. That's my motto every morning, man, absolutely. I like that."

He told the players that although somebody on the team might make it to the NFL, most players don't, so it's important to study hard.
A coach then threw Mr. Obama a football, which he caught, as he stood in the middle of the team to pose for photos.
"I'm not going to throw it, I'm going to catch it," the president said when asked if he would toss it back.
As he departed the field, the president met and posed for photos with the high school girls' volleyball team and the girls' dance team.

"Good luck," he said, adding the most important thing is that they are working hard and hitting the books.
Before departing the field, Mr. Obama conducted an interview with CBS behind the end-zone bleachers as your poolers waited in the warm sunshine.

Galesburg HS is the alma mater of Johanna Maska, director of press advance for the White House.

The president departed the high school at 4:01 p.m. CDT. Motorcade en route to second town-hall meeting.
Your pool report was aided greatly by the indispensable Laura Meckler of WSJ.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 17, 2011 8:23 PM.

In Alpha, Ill. Obama hears variety of concerns. Transcript was the previous entry in this blog.

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