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Redskins 80th Anniversary Tour: Live Blog

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UPDATED: 3:00 p.m.

Today is Day 2 of the Redskins 80th Anniversary "Thank You Tour," destination Shenandoah County, Va., in the heart of Redskins country.

It's another star-studded cast on the Redskins' commemorative bus, with general manager Bruce Allen, living legend Sam Huff, and the First Ladies of Football all in attendance.

There will be current Redskins players meeting us at the various locations, and are very excited to meet the fans, young and old.

I will be reporting to you on our four stops throughout the day, and be sure to check out the Redskins official Twitter handle (@Redskins) for photos and periodic updates.

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The first stop of the day was at Strasburg High School in the northern part of the county.

 More than 2,000 elementary, middle and high school students packed into the Strasburg Rams stadium, giving the Redskins a hearty welcome.

As the Redskins Cheerleaders entered the bowl of the stadium, the students sang 'Hail to the Redskins' and banged their feet, reminiscent to the roar of RFK Stadium.

Tim Hightower was the current Redskins player in attendance, and shared his story of perseverance with the gathered students.  Hightower is still finishing up rehab on his ACL tear that ended his 2011 season, but talked about how students should never give up.

"Work hard, listen to your parents and teachers, and good things will always happen to you," he said.

Former Redskins kicker and NFL MVP Mark Moseley also joined the Redskins tour.  Moseley is a member of the Strasburg community, and said that his home was only four miles from the high school.

The 'Thank You' tour bus is currently on Route 11, headed south.

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The second stop of the day was in the town of Woodstock, Va., which has playfully coined itself "The Other Woodstock."

Another 2,000 K-12 students overflowed the football stadium at Central High School to meet the Redskins officials and players. 

Spirits were high at the school, led by the school nurse, who described herself as "the biggest Redskins fan, ever."

There was a little girl named Cheyenne, who is friends with Mark Moseley's granddaughter.  Moseley called Cheyenne up to the front of the crowd, and talked about how she commutes to Washington three nights to train with the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders.

Another little boy, Ethan, accepted the invitation to ask a question to the panel of Redskins celebrities.  His query?  "Are any of the Redskins Cheerleaders married?"

He got a picture with the First Ladies of Football as well.

The stop was wrapped up with a visit from a very special Redskins fan, Trent Williams.  Not that Trent Williams, but an 8-year-old fan that has been battling cancer for a large part of his young life.  He was a rock star on the Redskins bus, spending time with Hightower, Huff, Allen and the Redskins Cheerleaders.

For that photo and many others, check out the photo gallery on the Redskins Blog.  As I write, the Redskins 80th bus is back on the road again.

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The third stop of the day, the Redskins 80th Anniversary bus tour stopped at Stonewall Jackson High School in Mount Jackson, Va.

This was the first ceremony inside, as hot temperatures forced the audible.  Inside the gym, the acoustics were much livelier, as Manley and Huff roused the crowd of youngsters with tales from their playing days.

Each stop along the way today has had a similar theme of thanking fans for the 80 years of great memories. 

But because of the juvenile audience today—most of them too young to remember the playing days of Manley and Huff—has learned a lot of life advice that can be applied to athletes and non-athletes alike.

This was the final school stop of the day, as the Redskins will be making their final stop at the Shenandoah County Fair Grounds. 

The tour bus will be joined by current Redskins players Ryan Kerrigan, Chris Wilson and Terrence Austin at this stop, and are expected to intermingle with more than 1,000 Redskins fans.

Stay tuned for the final update on the bus ride back to Redskins Park, later tonight.

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The fourth and final stop of today's bus tour was at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds, in conjunction with the Relay For Life event. 

For fans, it was the first chance to see linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Chris Wilson, as well as receiver Terrence Austin on the tour.  For those players, it was an opportunity to thank fans for all the support.

"I love the fans," Wilson said with a broad smile.  "They're such a passionate, outspoken group.  I'm sure that my teammates can attest to this, that we have to give them something special, and that's championships."

Wilson and company also gave reports on OTA's and said that progress was being made, both by players in the system, and coaches in adapting to player strengths.

"It's been fun," Austin reported.  "We've been out there getting a lot of work in, and it's been really fun to work with RG3 [Griffin III].  It's been fun to get together, and we're going to work on making this better for the fans."

Emcee Larry Michael and general manager Bruce Allen also took time to honor the cancer survivors in attendance, particularly the children still battling illness.

After an extensive autograph session with the fans, the Redskins contingent got back on the bus and headed northeast to Redskins Park.

For additional photos and commentary, please check out the Official Redskins Blog and official Redskins Twitter feed (@Redskins).

Week one of the Redskins 80th Anniversary bus tour is finished, but the Redskins will resume the tour after the holiday weekend.  Hail to the fans, and have a great holiday weekend.

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