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Cleveland area high school students to take part in NFL Draft

CMSD's All-City Choir will perform Thursday, and an East Cleveland Shaw senior will announce the Browns' first-round pick.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland area high school students are taking center stage throughout the NFL draft. They're not only getting a first-hand draft experience, but will be showcasing Cleveland's own talent.

3News got to sit down Wednesday with students from all over the regions, students who get to shine during the draft. One of those is East Cleveland Shaw High School senior Maya Tomoto, who will be announcing the Browns' first-round selection Thursday night.

"My football team is the Cleveland Browns," Tomoto said.

Tomoto's band teacher nominated her for the spot, not mentioning what it was for at the time.

"She said, 'I did nominate you for something,' and I was like, 'Oh, okay,'" Tomoto remembered. "They were like, 'It's for the NFL draft,' and everyone was kind of like, 'Oh my God, the draft?!'"

Credit: Tomoto family
East Cleveland Shaw High School senior Maya Tomoto.

Along with Tomoto, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District All-City Choir will take center stage as the draft kicks off.

"We got a call saying, 'Hey...we are thinking about having the students do the African American...national anthem,'" music director Dr. David Thomas said.

Because of the pandemic, the choir has only practiced in person twice. Most of their sessions have been kept on Zoom.

"It's crazy," Thomas said.

3News got a first-hand look at what that has been like in an interview. It was likely the most unorthodox way a choir has ever practiced, but the students said they're ready.

"I feel like we'll be able to nail the performance," Joseph Moss said.

The NFL Draft Experience will be open by noon Thursday, and the choir will take the main stage at 7:30 p.m. 30 minutes later, the draft will begin, and the Jacksonville Jaguars will be on the clock.