UCO football player awarded with national award in Guthrie

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football, recognized a University of Central Oklahoma student-athlete on Wednesday morning at the Reason to Believe Therapeutic Riding Center in Guthrie.

Seth Hiddink had the impression he was going to be interviewed by the UCO television station about his volunteer work, but was completely caught off guard when more than 20 people, including the UCO coaching and athletic staff along with volunteers from Reason to Believe and local Allstate agents, began to arrive.

Prim Cockrell of the Reason to Believe Therapeutic Riding Center (formerly known as the Equine Therapy Center), located at 9601 S. Pine, and local Allstate agency owners Larry Dumas and Keri Esmon thanked Hiddink for his community service contributions and presented him with a trophy.

Hiddink, was one of only 22 players nationwide to be selected from almost 200 nominees for the prestigious national award, spoke about what an honor it was to be named to the team and his appreciation and surprise at the outpouring of love for the surprise event.

The UCO kicker spends a countless number of hours at the center helping inner-city youth learn trust and respect through working with horses.

In addition, Hiddink boasts an impression resume of community service accomplishments, including: mentoring inner-city youth through Reason to Believe Therapeutic Riding Center to help them learn trust, responsibility and patience. He also assists with radiology, exams and surgery preparation at Oakridge Equine Hospital for animals. Volunteers at the Reptile Hospice Center in Snook, TX, helping to inform the public about reptile safety.

On the gridiron, Hiddink, who is from Wylie, Tx., serves as one of the top place-kickers in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and is a big-time scoring option for UCO. He entered the season having made 49 consecutive extra points, which is tied for the longest streak in UCO history.

Reason to Believe’s mission has been to use the equine experience for positive change, emotional growth and learning.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Reason to Believe Therapeutic Riding Center exists to help at-risk children, damaged teens, developmentally-disabled adults and troubled young women develop skills to heal, learn responsibility and form trust.


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