Sherri Coale says she will carry the image with her forever. A little Haitian boy, named DeSong, sitting atop Ben Habern’s shoulders, asleep, with the boy’s head resting on Habern’s head. “We scream at ‘em when they drop a pass or miss a tackle,” Coale said. “And we clap real hard when they go to the national championship game. “But to see those guys take off their shirt and wipe a snotty nose or wet it with a water bottle to wash some little feet, it was really an incredible thing to watch those guys, representing not just the University of Oklahoma, but themselves and their families… “Publicly, I want to say ‘thank you.’” Coale made the proclamation from the stage of the Addison Conference Center on Thursday during the OU Caravan in Dallas. She was talking to Habern and Whitney Hand, but also the other nine Sooner football players and the other nine OU women’s basketball players who made the mission trip to Haiti in May. “Just going to a third-world country is very powerful,” said Habern, OU’s starting center. “How they survive every day. They’ve figured out a way to live.” Habern said the group’s primary purpose was to “love on the kids.” The athletes also did some painting of houses, but the mission was simply to help provide hope. Most of the kids, Habern said, didn’t have shirts. Some didn’t have pants. Most didn’t have shoes, although that didn’t prevent constant soccer games, including 5- and 6-year-olds who could perform bicycle kicks in the midst of a soccer game. DeSong, probably three or four years old, walked up to Habern wanting to help him paint. “Cutest little face,” Habern said. “When he smiled … I picked him up that morning and didn’t set him down until we left that afternoon.” During the ride atop Habern, DeSong fell asleep. At one point, Habern lifted his arm to hold DeSong’s head in place, a muscle workout that would make Jerry Schmidt proud. The story made Bob Stoops proud. “The kids we work with today are incredible,” Stoops told the OU fans of Dallas. “Not just today; it’s been there a long time. These kids, they’re unbelievable. Absolutely amazing, young people of character, of faith. “You have no idea. It’s the best part of our job, getting to see ‘em every day. It’s why we do what we do; 99.5 percent of ‘em are the best you’d ever be around.” Stoops looked at Habern and Hand and said, “What you did in Haiti and beyond, we appreciate you. We’re always correcting you,” he said with a chuckle, “but we love you.” Hand and many of her teammates had gone on a Haitian mission trip the year before. “For me, it was so encouraging to see the improvement, the hope for their nation,” Hand said. Hand was encouraged by a school she visited. “They are growing leaders, people with vision for their country,” Hand said. Maybe the same could be said about OU.