By NIKKI YOUNK
IRON RIVER - After a tough practice, most high school athletes would be tempted to reach for a water or a sports drink to quench their thirst.
Nikki Younk/Daily News Photos
West Iron Health and Wellness Coordinator Denise Maloney paints a chocolate milk mustache on West Iron varsity football player Andy Ridolphi for a “Got Milk?”-inspired photo shoot at the school on Wednesday. The Wykons were one of 26 high school sports teams in Michigan that were awarded grants for chocolate milk.
West Iron varsity football players, from left, Gabe Hoogenboom, Gabe Golfis, Colton Pangrazzi, Andy Ridolphi, Andrew Peterson, and Tyler Capadagli pose for chocolate milk mustache photos shot by Kevin Zini. The photographs are a requirement for the United Dairy Industry of Michigan’s “Chocolate Milk: Nature’s Sports Drink” grant that the football team won.
This fall, members of the West Iron County High School football teams will be re-hydrating with a different kind of beverage - chocolate milk.
The United Dairy Industry of Michigan (UDIM) recently selected the Wykons and 25 other high school sports teams from across the state as winners of its "Chocolate Milk: Nature's Sports Drink" grant.
West Iron Health and Wellness Coordinator Denise Maloney said that the school received $2,000 to buy chocolate milk for the varsity and JV football teams to consume after every practice and game.
"We ordered through Jilbert's Dairy and will get milk every Thursday," she added.
According to UDIM, chocolate milk is an ideal drink for athletes.
"Nutrient-rich chocolate milk can help you refuel and re-hydrate within the critical two-hour recovery window after exercise," according to the UDIM website. "It contains a combination of carbohydrates and protein to refuel and repair muscles, fluids to re-hydrate, and electrolytes to replenish what is lost in sweat. It has the added bonus of bone-building nutrients, like calcium, to help maintain strong bones and prevent stress fractures."
As a condition of the grant, West Iron football players were required to pose for a "Got Milk?"-inspired chocolate milk mustache photo shoot at the school on Wednesday.
Professional photographer Kevin Zini of Iron River took individual and group shots of team members wearing their jerseys and painted-on mustaches while holding bottles of chocolate milk and footballs.
"We will be uploading the photos to the dairy council and they will make us some glossy photos and posters," Maloney explained. "They may even use the photos for an ad in the future."
Maloney noted that schools can nominate teams for the grant every semester. For the winter semester, she said that she would like to recognize one of West Iron's girls' team.
The Wykons kick off their 2013 football season with a game at Munising on Friday.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.