Fairview’s Matt Greenwald has already played a football game at the famed stadium on the grounds of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Come Feb. 5, he’ll get the chance to add AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to that list.
Not bad for a 14-year-old freshman who thought he was in over his head at a USA Football regional selection camp this past May.
Greenwald, who played for the Knights’ undefeated freshman team this fall, was selected recently to play in the USA Football International Bowl, a special series of age-specific games against similar teams from Canada.
It’s a rare opportunity, as only two other Colorado players were picked as part of the 60-person under-16 squad that will take on Alberta at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Legacy coach Wayne Voorhees will serve on the coaching staff, too.
“It was amazing coming home from school to see that (notification) e-mail,” Greenwald said. “I mean, it’s always a dream to represent your country but I’m actually getting to do that.
“I’ve been just thinking a lot about what it’s going to be like to represent the country. It’s almost all I’ve been thinking about lately.”
The process was lengthy, but well worth it for the 6-foot-1, 160-pound wide receiver/defensive back. He sort of stumbled on the USA Football website that was advertising the tryouts, and soon enough had made his way through the necessary steps to get on the team.
There were games in which Greenwald was being “scouted,” but also trials known as jamborees that include more individual work. After getting on the radar at a regional qualifying camp, the second step was getting to play at the Hall of Fame Stadium for national tryouts.
“That was a cool experience, but also probably the most nerve-wracking. I mean, there were only five kids from Colorado there,” said Greenwald, a product of the Boulder Bears Youth Football league. “But during that camp, like four out of five of the coaches played in the NFL, so that was pretty cool.
“I think in the game I was pretty average, but in the jamboree I had four (interceptions) in four games. I think that was what did it.”
Getting the notification e-mail that he had been selected to play in Texas, he said, was like nothing he’s ever experienced.
He was selected as a wide receiver to one of the two under-15 American teams that actually only play each other, but he was given a spot on the under-16 team as a defensive back to be able to compete against the Canadian squad.
All the players will get a chance to travel down to Arlington the week before the game so as to get some full practices in. The International Bowl is in its seventh edition, and the under-16 game will be live-streamed on ESPN3.com starting a 1 p.m.
“Just watching Cowboys games on TV, then thinking I’ll be playing on that field in February, it’s just awesome,” Greenwald said.