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Verizon junior captain gets thrill of a lifetime

Posted Sep 17, 2013

Wearing Packers No. 52 jersey, 9-year-old Oshkosh boy meets Clay Matthews at midfield during coin flip

Clay Matthews wasn’t the only one wearing a Packers No. 52 jersey at midfield for Sunday’s coin toss.

Nine-year-old Joshua Pritzl, the Verizon junior captain, was out there wearing one, too, and his favorite player noticed right away.

“He said, ‘Nice jersey,’ and patted me on the head,” Joshua said. “It felt really cool.”

It was a really cool day all around for Joshua, an Oshkosh, Wis., fourth grader who attended his first Packers game, stood next to referee Tony Corrente for the coin toss and got to shake hands with Packers captains Matthews, Jermichael Finley and Robert Francois, plus the Redskins captains, which included quarterback Robert Griffin III.

A friend told him at school on Monday that he saw Joshua on TV. For the record, the Packers won the toss, so Joshua can call himself a good-luck charm.

He got the pre-game duty by winning a Verizon contest drawing, one he signed up for while wearing all his YMCA football gear and a Packers helmet.

Knowing he’d be attending his first Packers game with the added bonus of going onto the field for warm-ups and the coin flip, Joshua was admittedly too excited to sleep much the night before.

It only added to the thrill to watch, with his parents and older sister from the stands along the Green Bay sideline, as the Packers approached a bunch of offensive records in a dominant 38-20 victory over the Redskins.

“They did really good,” was Joshua’s analysis. “They didn’t have that many mistakes.”

His only regret was not telling Matthews that he plays the same position as him, linebacker, because he “likes tackling.” He’s finding that out during his first season playing tackle football, and he was actually heading out to practice shortly after speaking with packers.com about his junior captain experience.

That’s dedication the real No. 52 would no doubt appreciate.

 
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