PLYMOUTH — Pat and Marion Maney of Londonderry yesterday looked a little like weary tourists returning from an extended stay in some far-away land.
Each had two suitcases plus a duffel bag they were lugging down the sidewalk next to the Mary Lyon Hall — their daughter's home for the next nine months at Plymouth State University.
Fortunately for the Maney's, the bags were empty and they were on their way home.
"We came with a car and a half" said Pat.
When asked what items their freshman daughter Maureen Maney couldn't live without, they both laughed.
"We have four suitcases," said Marion, "and one of them was filled with shoes."
The Maneys delivered a fan, a humidifier for allergies and the requisite four suitcases of clothing for their honor's business major daughter. Fortunately for them, one of the other two girls in her flat brought the refrigerator and the third girl brought the microwave.
The Maney's were but two of the hundreds of sets of parents who converged upon PSU for the traditional "move in" day who got to play the role of Sherpa — or one of the members of a tribe in Nepal who guide hikers up the mountains and, perhaps more importantly, carry their provisions up there, too.
But the Maney's, like the rest of the parents, were met with a pleasant surprise yesterday — the PSU Panthers football team.
"We pull up and we get swamped by these huge handsome guys," said Marion Maney, who said they loaded all of her daughter's things into a big white plastic tote on wheels and brought them in to the dorm.
Sophomore Quarterback Jimmy Boulay, senior defensive lineman Jeff Nussek and senior wide receiver Nick Cavallo were three of those coach assigned to help the students of Mary Lyons Hall. Nussek said the wrestling team will take over a noon and the sorority sisters of Delta Zeta will take over at 4 p.m.
When asked what orders they were given by their coach Nussek said, "Kill them with kindness."
"We walk up to people and asked them if we can help them bring their stuff up to their dorm rooms, Nussek said.
For Mark Tulley, the father of freshman Jordan Tulley, of Hollis the football players were a godsend.
"This is great," he said. "I haven't been up to the third floor yet."
Mark Tulley stood behind the open door of his black SUV and handed Jordan's things to members of the football team who carried them up to the third floor at Blair Hall.
According to his father, Jordan's couldn't live without his television, his X-box and dad's American Express card.
Moe Giddis of Pembrook stood next to his SUV and sipped on a cup of coffee.
Courtney Giddis is the fourth and youngest of Moe Giddis's daughters — and the second who has gone to college.
When asked how much packing he had done the night before, Moe grinned and said, "None."
He said his daughter had "gotten a little mouthy" the night before so he informed her she was packing her own things in the back of the SUV.
"She did it all herself," he said, showing off a framed collage of pictures of her friends and family she had made the night before.
"See," he said pointing to his own picture in the top left corner of the collage. "I'm right here so she can't still be too mad at me."
Looking at the football players lugging all of her things up to the dorm, Giddis leaned back and sighed.
"This is sweet," he said. "I haven't done a darn thing all morning."