Sharing a substance free lifestyle, starring Champion Lancers


Bayleigh Cluett

Jake Ummel hands out bracelets and trading cards to elementary school kids at Poinsettia. The Champion Lancers teach kids to live a drug and alcohol free life style.

Whitney Drucker, A&E Editor

Each year, Red Ribbon Weeks serves students with the reminder of making healthy choices, and the Champion Lancers do their part in helping to spread this message beyond their own campus. Champion Lancers unite with clear messages to the community about school involvement, self determination and prevention of drug or alcohol use. Seniors Dorin Coffler, Jake Ummel, Kiana Pestonjee, Rebecca Nasser, Ryan Little, Shelby Lee, Max DeLoach and Mac Harden visit all the Carlsbad Unified School District elementary schools to promote the importance of living a substance-free lifestyle.

“Basically to become a Champion Lancer, you have to have a high academic GPA, and you have to be very involved in some extracurricular activity,” DeLoach said. “We are all definitely leaders in whatever activity we represent.”

In order to become a Champion Lancer, one must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, be involved in extra curricular activities and, of course, must live a substance-free lifestyle. DeLoach, one of the eight Champion Lancers, represents theater and show choir.

“On the application, we had to tell the panel what we do on campus; it’s kind of cool because this year about half of us don’t play a sport — there are three of us who do,”  Nasser said. “I’m on year book and that’s my activity on campus. But, we have a band member [Ummel], a drama kid [DeLoach], and then a soccer player [Lee], lacrosse player [Harden], basketball player [Pestonjee], runner [Little] and a swimmer [Coffler].”

The visits to local elementary schools are the most significant part of being a Champion Lancer. Two to three times a week, during the host school’s lunch recesses, the role models give a presentation telling students about what it means to be a Champion Lancer, individually introduce themselves, have a brief Q-and-A session, unite with a cheer and finish by handing out their trading cards to spread the message about making healthy decisions and living a substance-free lifestyle.

The Champion Lancers also get a chance to interact with the students one-on-one and can often be found playing football with fourth graders or eating lunch at the tables alongside first graders during their visits.

“We joke about how our cards are kind of like Pokemon trading cards, but the kids go crazy over them and it’s fun to see how something so small can leave a lasting impact,” Lee said.

Champion Lancers are responsible for signing the 2500 professional personalized training cards along with designing a t-shirt and sweatshirt to wear at presentations.

“For me, the best part of being a Champion Lancer is going to the elementary schools where the kids really look up to you,” Nasser said.”I went to a city council meeting for my government class, and all the elementary schools were there because they had to get the proclamation for red ribbon week. There was two little girls who recognized me from recently visiting their school and that was really cool.”

Champion Lancers have a high level of integrity that students really appreciate and look up to. Essentially wanting to change the mentality that you have to drink to be cool, Champion Lancers dedicate themselves to make healthy choices.

“You go around and say things to kids about making healthy choices, but ultimately, you have to be the one making healthy choices,” Lee said. “You want to lead by example — not just say things.”