Joseph Decker, left, and Joseph Greco, right, are two lucky local youth who will be playing at Cowboy Stadium, in Dallas, Texas.
Two local youth to play at Dallas stadium
By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY While some young fans might be watching football at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas during the holiday break, two local boys will be playing there.
Joseph Decker and Joseph Greco (accompanied by their families) will be going to Dallas for the 2011 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl. They will be teammates on Team 19 North in the Youth Division and play in the bowl game this Friday, Dec. 30 at Cowboys Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
Decker, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Liberty Middle School, and Greco, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Monticello Middle School, earned the chance to play against other top youth football players from across the United States based on their outstanding performances at a football camp during the summer. Both of them attended the Offense-Defense Camp held from July 17 to July 20 at SUNY Brockport in Rochester and earned MVP awards for linemen in their age group.
This is the second consecutive year Decker and Greco will be playing in the All-American Bowl. Last December, they went to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to play in the prestigious game.
“It was nice to go to Myrtle Beach last year,” said Decker, who played fullback in the Town of Liberty Parks and Recreation Department Youth Football League for four years and offensive/ defensive line for the Liberty modified football team this fall. “But when I found out this year’s game was in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium, I thought it was great. I was very excited.”
Decker will be one of the offensive linemen for Team 19 North as will Greco. He played two seasons of local youth football and started at center and defensive tackle this autumn for the Monticello modified football team.
“I went to Myrtle Beach last year and it was fun,” said Joseph Greco, who is the son of Michael Greco and Kendra Shambley-Greco. “But when I got the e-mail about the game being at Cowboys Stadium this year, I thought that it was really cool. To play in an NFL stadium will be special.”
Even though they are both New York Giants fans, Decker and Greco are looking forward to the experience of playing at Cowboys Stadium.
Both players will be in Dallas for few days prior to the game. Decker noted that their team will be practicing twice a day today, tomorrow and Thursday.
“It’s a great opportunity to get to know kids from California and other places around the country,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun and you make new friends.”
In addition to the practices, there are other opportunities for the players to get to know one another.
“Every night the teams get together for an event,” said Joseph Decker’s father, Joe Decker. “Last year, Joseph was on Team 7 and one night the team and Team 6 went to the Outback Steakhouse for a pizza party. The following night, Team 7 had an activity with team Team 8.”
Of course, Joe Decker is very proud that his son will be playing in his second All-American Bowl.
“He worked hard and earned it,” Joe Decker said. “It’s a good experience for him.”
Traveling to Dallas (at their own expense) to cheer on Joseph Decker in Friday’s game will be his father, his mother Christine Costa and his sister Katy Decker.
Michael Greco, Joseph’s father, is very happy his son will be playing in his second consecutive All-American Bowl.
“It was nice to play in Myrtle Beach last year,” Michael Greco said. “But to play in Cowboys Stadium, an NFL facility, should be even better. Hopefully, Joseph will have a great experience there.”
Michael Greco and his girlfriend Adrianna Mayson will be traveling to Dallas to watch Joseph play in the All-American Bowl. In addition, Joseph’s sister Kayla Greco will be in the stands cheering for him.