A panoramic view of the Wayland-Cohocton Large Group Instruction Room where Mr.Maddox and Mrs. Webster stand in front of a room of students. The students are eagerly learning forward in excitment to hear the former NFL Bills Football player speak to them.

Former Bills Player Mark Maddox visits with middle school students in the cafeteria during breakfasts.

Wayland-Cohocton Middle and High School students had a special guest on Friday, November 17th during school. Former Buffalo Bills player Mark Maddox visited the school to speak with students and inspire them to persevere and grow their personal character. 

In the morning Middle School students who have had been acknowledged during the first quarter for their positive behavior through the Eagles Way program had the opportunity to have breakfast with Mr. Maddox in the cafeteria. About 50 students were given this special honor. 

Following breakfast, Mr. Maddox spoke to high school students in grade-level assemblies followed by the middle school students in the afternoon.. During the assemblies, Mr. Maddox discussed celebrating differences in peers, standing up and helping others when they need it, and not giving up when a challenge arises. He shared his own personal story about how a trip with the high school level football team to the Shriners Hospital helped to change the way he saw his own life and soften his discontent over feeling like he had less than his peers. Mr. Maddox also talked about how simply standing by and watching bad or mean things happen to classmates is part of what allows peers to continue to behave badly. His message was clear that everyone must be willing to stand up for one another. 

Mr. Maddox played college football at Northern Michigan University and attended James Madison High School. He was drafted in the 8th round in the 1991 NFL draft by the Bills. Mr. Maddox is a former football linebacker who played for the Buffalo Bills from 1991-1997 and Arizona Cardinals from 1998-2000 when he retired. In 2021 Maddox was named the Buffalo Bills Legend of the Year.

Aside from his NFL career, Mr. Maddox is known for his extensive kindness and generosity through his charity the Help 1 Foundation. The organization’s mission and purpose is to be an example of service to others in their giving of time, resources, knowledge and love for the betterment of children and families. 

Sixth grade ELA teacher Mrs. Webster has known Maddox since 2020 when they met playing Bill’s Trivia. Both are passionate about helping others and became quick friends. In the time since, Mr. Maddox has donated over $3,500 worth of books to Mrs. Webster’s students. Last year, Maddox and his charity also provided Christmas gifts to three families in the Wayland-Cohocton community.