Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Students at Hammond had a very exciting Friday morning after former USC pitcher Michael Roth made a surprise visit to the school.
"They're all going to be very excited when he comes and shows up and they actually see," said Hammond's headmaster, Chris Angel. "They know there's a guest speaker... they don't know who it is so I think it's going to be a big surprise and a lot of fun today!"
"I looked back and was like, 'that's Michael Roth?! Did he go to Hammond, I mean, how did he get here?'" said Mason Harrington, a 4th grade student. "I'm like, to my friend, 'Blake! Look behind you!' And this girl in my class, Sydney, she is obsessed with Michael Roth!"
"When you're out on the field when you're trying to play a sport, play really hard," Michael Roth told a room filled with students. "But work hard when you're in the classroom, when you're with these teachers."
"He was talking about how it's not all about you during a game," said Harrington, "it's all about everybody around you. You don't need to just think about yourself, you need to be humble."
Another young Roth fan is Rachel McCutchen, "I think he's a great pitcher and does great sportsmanship and just in there a minute about he gave great encouragement and advice."
"I've been cheered in a lot of things, you know? Omaha and Carolina Stadium, but it's always great to hear the kid's voices, ya know? Screaming at the top of their lungs and just the pure joy and excitement they get out of seeing somebody that maybe is their role model or someone they look up to on the field."
Columbia has been my home for the past four years and that's what I consider home now. So I'm glad to be back, glad to be back in Gamecock country, it's a lot of fun!"