Mason Killiam tries to elude Sina during a practice Sunday at Ripon High School.
Mason Killiam tries to elude Sina during a practice Sunday at Ripon High School.

   It was mid-November and Brent Sina’s phone rang.

   The Ripon Youth Football president didn’t recognize the number, but answered it anyway.

   “It was from the outreach program of the head office of the Green Bay Packers,” Sina said, noting he was asked if Ripon would like to represent the storied NFL franchise in the 13- to 14-year old NFL FLAG Championships during Pro Bowl weekend. “I didn’t believe right away at all ... I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

    After realizing it wasn’t a hoax, he called Mark Bradley, who helped him coach the seventh-grade team last year.

   Bradley, who recently was named the head coach of the Ripon High School football program, had a similar reaction.

   “[Sina] called me and very excitedly asked, ‘Hey, do you want to go the Pro Bowl?’ And I’m like, ‘Ah, what’s the catch?’” Bradley said.

   After Sina explained to him the chance that was in front of them and 10 Ripon seventh-graders, he was aboard.

   The team, called the “Ripon Packers,” will depart Thursday for Orlando, Fla., and will play this weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Read the full story in the Jan. 24, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.