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June 02, 2008

Special guests visit Panthers workout

While the talk of the Panthers' offseason training activities Monday was the first action for offensive tackle and first-round pick Jeff Otah, there were some special guests at the workout as well.

A total of 31 at-risk boys from the Statesville area attended, shepherded in part by former Carolina lineman Todd Fordham.

The kids, 70 percent of whom have at least one parent incarcerated, have been playing sports, doing homework and receiving mentoring with the help of a charitable group known as Power Cross, run by Jeff and Natalie Storment and located in Statesville. One child being helped has 15 relatives in prison. Information: powercross.org or call 704-873-0401 or 704-902-1653.

The trip to Charlotte was organized with the help of Athletes To Champions, another nonprofit organization. More information on the group, based in Jacksonville, Fla., can be found at athletestochampions.com.-- STAN OLSON

Posted by Observer Sports on June 2, 2008 at 08:34 PM | Permalink


The best way to get these kids on the right track is to get them the hell out of Statesville. The Statesville area is a crime ridden waste land that feeds kids to crime by the dump loads.

Posted by: J | Jun 2, 2008 10:42:17 PM

'J' is right on the money.

Posted by: Statesville Bro | Jun 2, 2008 11:04:58 PM

I know wha you mean about Statesville. I am from Henderson, if you have ever heard of it I am sure its for a bad reason. We have a lot of these same situations up here, HIGH CRIME RATE, HIGH TEEN PREGNANCY, etc.

Posted by: Brandon | Jun 2, 2008 11:13:57 PM

At-risk youth such as boys need positive influences in their lives. Anyone who is courageous enough to give their time to mentor these kids and help them stay on the right track is a hero. At-risk youth especially need someone to believe in them and encourage them because of all the wrong influences in their environment. At-risk youth can't change where they live, who their parents are, or their economic status but programs like this give them a chance to as adults.

Posted by: CEREBRUM | Jun 3, 2008 12:03:01 AM

Actually, Cerebrum is the one who's spot on.

Posted by: collin | Jun 3, 2008 12:37:59 AM

I guess taking them to Bank of America, Wachovia, Nucor, Coke, Duke Energy or any of the business this guys could possibly have a legitimate chance to work for one day was not sensational enough.

Who would have coverd a story about that.

Posted by: mike nelson | Jun 3, 2008 7:25:16 AM

maybe these kids wanted a chance at meeting some of the guys they idolize?

Posted by: m | Jun 3, 2008 10:37:42 AM

I just wanted to say thanks stan for doing this small write up. Im actually from statesville teach in the system. But my wife Erika Nelson is a 4th grade teacher at NB mills where these kids go. She has 3 to 5 of these students that are in this group but of course she is close to all of them. You guys that dont what this group is about or does will never know how much these kids enjoyed going to practice yesterday. They had a baseball game last night and those boys had the gloves that steve smith gave them and you should have seen how excited they were about having a glove from steve smith. Most of these kids dont have a father figure in their life and if it wasnt for jeff and all of the friends and family support they get they would not have a chance in life. I literally had tears last night seeing jeff talk about the boys and to hear one boy tell everyone what powercross has done for his life its amazing to see! GOD DOES GREAT THINGS! Its just sad to see some of the negative comments on here about this and why stan would want to write something about this. Stan i never have met you but i dont need to, i see what kind of heart you have and its a big and great one. THANK YOU FOR helping in supporting this group! GOD BLESS!

Posted by: Joseph Nelson | Jun 3, 2008 11:27:56 AM

I hope it's not English you teach in the system

Posted by: trav | Jun 3, 2008 11:58:56 AM

I live near Henderson (Franklinton), and I've seen many at-risk teens in my town also. These kids need every chance they can get, good write-up Stan!

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 3, 2008 2:19:42 PM

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Posted by: ebyf hmftczra | Jun 4, 2008 3:06:04 PM

Hello all,

The comments above do not suprise me. That is actually why I started Power Cross. Most of the young men I work with are told every day by their one parent "your no good and will never amount to anything". Some of their teachers even feel the same way. We had one teacher make one of my boys feel that way as we walked out of the school to leave for the Panthers trip. I say give the child a chance. It is not the child's fault his father chose prison over being a dad. Maybe one day we can change the cycle and follow Jesus' way - "Teach your children to choose the right path and when they are older they will remain upon it"

Posted by: Jeff Storment | Jun 4, 2008 4:35:34 PM

I just want to thank Jeff and Natalie for for what they are doing. It is sad that so many people have already given up on so many due to their home city or the nature of their home lives. Pre conceptions are truly blinding. Fortunately the Storments seem to see past that stuff and see the real need and see how vital working with these kids is to everyone's future. Easier (and cheaper) to put them on the straight path now then hope to reform them later.

I personally think the Storments are true examples of what Christians should be. They are putting their heart and lives into a great cause - a better future for at risk kids. I want to personally say WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. Great job and keep up the great work.

Posted by: Dave | Jun 4, 2008 7:41:35 PM

Jeff and Natalie can lick my balllz

Posted by: Michael Procton | Jun 4, 2008 9:10:32 PM

he wont lick your ballz but he might beat that azz

Posted by: chuck | Jun 4, 2008 10:39:36 PM

The actual website address for Athletes to Champions is: athletes2champions.org. Please address all inquiries to that address.

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome and positive energy. It is a pleasure being involved with this group of kids. Jeff and Natalie, you are truely remarkable. We look forward to helping you do great things in Statesville.

Brad Hill, AIA
V.P. Athletes to Champions

Posted by: Bradley Hill | Jun 5, 2008 10:31:35 AM

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