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Matt Forte spends day with Tilden High School team

Matt Forte Kyle Bosworth

Matt Forte, Kyle Bosworth

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Updated: November 13, 2012 6:30AM

Bears running back Matt Forte is pretty good at handling surprises. Make that, surprising others.

Forte surprised the Tilden High School football team Thursday as part of the Duracell “Trust Your Power” program. Forte spent the day with the team — “They pretty much know my life story,” he said — and took part in their practice at Fuller Park on the South Side.

“They had no idea,” Forte said. “I was talking to some of them, I was like, ‘Did anyone tell you?’ One was like, ‘No. Last year Coach said we had a surprise which was some food. That’s what I thought it was going to be. Like a pizza party or something.’ Instead, they were really excited to see me.”

But Thursday wasn’t about Forte.

It was about encouraging the ­Tilden football team, which has only 16 players, to persevere through a tough and grueling season. Forte presented the team with a $20,000 donation from Duracell. Tilden also received football gear and apparel, a flat-screen TV, medical equipment and calculators.

“They’re the next generation coming up,” Forte said. “In this day and age, high school has a lot of temptations, and there’s a lot of stuff they can get into instead of positive things.”

Forte asked tight end Kellen Davis and wide receiver Earl Bennett to attend, and both were there. Bennett even changed his flight.

Their goal was to help the Tilden players believe in themselves.

“The biggest thing is that these kids want to play. The desire is all there. They just need some help,” Davis said.

Adam L. Jahns

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