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Contest winner, classmates get visit from player



Published: Wed, December 19, 2007 @ 2:00 a.m.

The winner and his dad

got a limousine ride to Cleveland.

By ANDREW GAUG

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN — It was an unofficial Cleveland Browns day for pupils at Lloyd Elementary School here as one of the team’s wide receivers, Travis Wilson, visited the school.

The kids cheered and screamed as the second-year Browns player entered the school gymnasium Tuesday after a high school jazz band concert that had just concluded with the Browns fight song.

“I’m just here to enjoy you all and I hope you all enjoy me,” he said.

The visit was part of a contest won by third-grader Anthony Phillips Jr.

Anthony entered the contest via the NFL’s official Web site.

“He signed up for this contest called ‘Switcheroo,’” Anthony’s father, Anthony Phillips Sr., said. “I had forgotten all about it until they had called us and told us we won.”

The contest’s theme is to give the winner and another person of their choosing a chance to switch places with an NFL player.

Anthony and his father were given a limousine ride up to the Marriott Hotel in Cleveland where they spent the weekend shopping and visiting places such as the Great Lakes Science Center.

Phillips Sr. said he was happy the hotel was so centralized in Cleveland.

“Everywhere we went to, we walked,” he said.

On Sunday, the two received field passes and 11th-row tickets to the Browns game against the Buffalo Bills.

“They were supposed to pick us up in a car, but we would’ve spent more time in traffic so we just walked,” he said.

Despite the heavy wind and snow, Phillips Sr. said they had a great view, and Anthony got some extra things while at the game.

“You could see everything great,” he said, “A player threw him a football and another player threw him receiver gloves. It was a great experience.”

Lloyd Elementary pupils also seemed to be enjoying themselves as Wilson toured the school signing footballs, cards and jerseys.

While in Anthony’s class, Wilson, who played college football at the University of Oklahoma, answered questions about being on a team, his family and how he got into football.

“How many Super Bowls have you won?” one student asked.

“None yet. But hopefully it’s about to come,” Wilson replied.

Before he left, he spoke of the camaraderie of the Browns.

“Football, that’s a team sport. So we have to be close,” Wilson said, adding he views his teammates as his brothers.

agaug@vindy.com


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