K-State football visits Discovery Center's new exhibit

K-State Sports Information
Football: The Exhibit, new to the Flint Hills Discovery Center, will be on display until June. (Photo: K-State Sports Information)

While Kansas State University's football season ended nearly two months ago with a bowl victory, it's just beginning at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

The center opened its doors to a whole new crowd Feb. 8 as K-State football visited the museum's brand-new temporary exhibit: Football: The Exhibit. Willie the Wildcat and the K-State cheerleaders welcomed children and adults alike to the museum, and Veryl Switzer spent time talking about his days as a Wildcat.

K-State quarterback Jake Waters, wide receiver Curry Sexton and defensive back Weston Hiebert also showed up to check out the exhibit and meet with fans.

"It's pretty cool. I've never been here before and I'm learning a lot of stuff that I've never really thought of," Waters said as he looked around the exhibit. "It's really cool to interact with the kids, too."

From now until June, the special football exhibit located in the museum's gallery room will be available to the public.

"We started planning last fall to really see how we could make this unique to not just Manhattan but really the whole Flint Hills region," said Fred Goss, director of the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

Emporia State, Butler Community College and high school football teams from around the region also will take part in the exhibit in the upcoming months.

"K-State kicks off the partnership, but we're working with football teams from all around the region, and we'll wrap it up in late May with the regional high school day," Goss said. "The idea is to showcase not just athletics but also the student-athletes who do well in the classroom, contribute to the economy and peruse their dreams and professional goals after they complete their eligibility for K-State."

From learning the history of football to the game's technologies to the reasoning behind why quarterbacks spin the football when they throw it, everything fans need to learn about the game is in the exhibit.

"I've never been here to the Discovery Center before, but just to see all the exhibits and the things they have for the kids, it's pretty cool," Sexton said. "Lambeau Field has a deal like this, kind of an arcade for kids and they have some games and stuff. I used to spend hours and hours in there."

Children also are able to get into the game with interactive displays such as throwing footballs through hanging tires to practicing accurate throwing and a timed 40-meter dash to see just how fast they really are.

"I think it's neat, it's definitely giving the kids something to do. They're going crazy and loving it," Heibert said with a laugh. "Especially that 40-yard dash and the football throw, I would have been on that when I was a kid."

Memorabilia from former Wildcat wide receiver Jordy Nelson and quarterback Collin Klein decorate the exhibit, and highlights from K-State's Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl victory over Michigan play on the exhibit's television.

"A big reason behind building the center was it's something for families to do locally," Goss said. "We've seen a nice turnout of people from 18 months to senior citizens, which is great. It's the sort thing that we want it to be really top of mind for people to come here on repeat visits, to bring guests from out of town especially for exhibits like this football one."

Click here to view the video of the event from K-StateHD.TV in the football channel.

For more information on the Flint Hills Discovery Center, click here to check out the website.

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