Colston meets contest winner at LaPlace Athlete’s Foot store

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Sports Editor

Todd Crawford thought it was a joke.

At first, the 15-year old didn’t believe that he’d won the Athlete’s Foot &#8220In My Shoes” contest.

&#8220I didn’t believe it, but then I got excited,” Crawford said.

Crawford was named the regional winner of the &#8220In My Shoes” contest, a contest that rewards young student-athletes, ages 13-18, who entered the contest and expressed their own performance goals via essays or video.

Crawford received quite the prize on Tuesday – a chance to meet with Saints’ wide receiver Marques Colston.

The meeting took place at The Athlete’s Foot store in the Riverland shopping center.

&#8220It was great, I learned a lot about him,” Crawford. A sophomore cornerback at McMain, said. &#8220He told me that determination and hard work is what got him where he is, and that it’ll get me places.”

Colston had a similar response when asked about the meeting.

&#8220It flowed real well,” Colston said. &#8220I was trying to learn more about him as a person, not just as an athlete.”

Hurricane Katrina displaced Crawford and his family, like so many others. He and his family moved to Atlanta before returning to New Orleans in the aftermath of the storm. He has attributed much of his improvement over the past two years as a football player to the time he spent in a new town, learning a different team’s system on its field.

And while the two got to know one another as people, not just as athletes, Colston did what he could to aid that improvement as well.

&#8220He definitely gave me some tips that I can use on the field,” Crawford said.

If one needs to look to an example of how far hard work can get an athlete, Colston is among the best out there. A non-heralded seventh round draft pick in 2006, Colston started for the Saints in their season opener at Cleveland. Despite an ankle injury that sidelined him briefly, he still had one of the top rookie seasons by a wide receiver in NFL history, logging 70 catches for 1,038 yards.

So when Colston tells you that hard work pays off, it pays to listen.

&#8220It never hurts to hear it,” Colston said. &#8220Positive reinforcement always helps.”

&#8220He told me to work hard at what you do, always, and to never let anyone tell me different,” Crawford said.

Crawford hopes to one day play football at the collegiate level. His first high school game for McMain in 2006 was also the first game the school played since reopening after Katrina, something Crawford said that he’d &#8220never forget”. He also has aspirations and interests in architecture, and his favorite subjects in school include chemistry and geometry.

Colston sees a lot of ambition in Todd, but he also sees a lot of something else in him – himself.

&#8220He’s a cool dude, a real laid back guy,” Colston said. &#8220He reminds me of myself at that age. He is having fun doing what he’s doing, and working hard at it.”