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Green, Freeman lead local kids through drills


Led in catching and passing drills by former Packers running back Ahman Green and wide receiver Antonio Freeman, over 500 students from six Green Bay area middle schools participated in the "NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival." The event was held at the Resch Center, which is located near Lambeau Field.

The students were outfitted in Under Armour apparel and went through drills to increase their football skills. Green and Freeman also spoke about the importance of getting 60 minutes of exercise a day as part of the "NFL Play 60" campaign, which is dedicated to youth health and fitness.

"It's an honor to come and work with these kids and see their eyes light up when we meet them," said Freeman, who ranks sixth in Packers history with 431 catches. "Ahman and I just feel like regular guys. This is an opportunity to come back to Green Bay and work in the community, and the Packers do a great job of keeping their alumni involved. These kids are our future, and this is really a rewarding thing to be a part of."

All schools that took part had been active in "NFL Play 60" programming in the past. Local "NFL Punt, Pass and Kick" winners Dominic Berlin (Eau Claire, Wisc.) and Malik Muhammad (Sheboygan, Wisc.) were also recognized at the clinic as the league kicked off the 50th anniversary celebration of NFL PP&K.

Participating students received a Switch2Health Replay band that will track their activity over the next four months. Those with the highest number of minutes will receive "NFL Play 60" prizes. Students will have the chance to interact with "NFL RUSH Zone," the NFL's online game world and animated series for kids, and the "NFL Officiating" department.

Participating schools include Little Chute Middle School, Holy Family School, Westwood School, Zion School, Horace Mann School and Huntley Elementary School, all from the Green Bay area. Grammy Award-winning country band Lady Antebellum, which will perform at the "Kickoff" concert prior to the game on Thursday, also arrived in the afternoon at the Resch Center to view the proceedings.

"This is the first time I've had a chance to be part of something like this, and I've really enjoyed it," said Green, who retired in August as the Packers' all-time leading rusher with 8,322 yards. "I'm really happy to show kids that this is something you can do to stay in shape and have fun with it."

The "NFL Play 60 Youth Football Festival" is one of several events taking place throughout Green Bay during "Kickoff" week. Other events include a community playground at Lincoln Elementary School, where Commissioner Roger Goodell will be joined by NFL alumni to build a playground, greenhouse and garden for the school.

As part of the NFL's "Back to Football" campaign, schools nationwide will demonstrate their team pride on Friday, Sept. 9. The "Back to Football" campaign will celebrate and recognize 34 "Play 60" super schools across the country for their team pride and commitment to "NFL Play 60" later this season. Schools in Green Bay will celebrate "Back to Football" a day early on Thursday, in honor of the "Kickoff" game.

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