EAST RUTHERFORD — The Point Pleasant Pirates Challenger Flag Football team, along with some members of the Point Boro football team, had the opportunity to attend a New York Giants camp last Sunday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
After the two-hour practice the Pirates and Panthers were lucky enough to meet Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who talked to and signed autographs for each team member.
“We want our kids to feel like you’re not different, that you are part of [something], you’re just unique. You can play sports, you do play the high school team and now a pro team acknowledges you,” said Barry Ruggiero, the man behind the day.
After watching the Giants practice, the Pirates and Panthers were escorted to the side of the field where they were introduced to Manning, thanks to Director of Community and Youth Relations Ethan Medley.
“All of a sudden we see the red shirt and the number  and a parent said, ‘That’s Eli Manning!’ and Ethan brought him over and the kids were just so excited,” explained Ruggiero. “They [the players] were just shocked and for Eli to take the time out to watch the kids on the video beforehand so he knew what he was talking about, knew about our program and Ethan also talked to the kids — it was just so special,” he added.
Manning, was more than happy to spend a little extra time on the field with the Boro athletes and their families.
“It was a real pleasure to spend time with the members of the Point Pleasant Challenger Pirates and the Panthers high school football team following our practice,” said Manning.
“The bond that these two football teams share is definitely special, and represents the very best outcome in sports. It was a great moment, and they were very appreciative of the opportunity. I wish them all the best.”
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