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Local teen meets childhood idol

Elkins High School student spends some time with Brett Favre

November 7, 2012
By Edgar Kelley - Sports Editor ( , The Inter-Mountain

Everyone fantasizes of someday meeting their childhood idol. But for one local teenager, his dreams became a reality during a recent trip to the state of Mississippi.

Tanner Boatwright, a junior at Elkins High School, was recently invited to journey to Hattiesburg, Miss., where former EHS football coach Nevil Barr now resides and coaches the Oak Grove Warriors.

Oak Grove is much like any other school across the country, and on Friday night they do what high schools do: they play football.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Elkins High School student Tanner Boatwright, left, poses for a picture with former NFL?quarterback Brett Favre during a recent trip to Mississippi.

The difference between Oak Grove and others, however, is that one of the greatest National Football League quarterbacks of all time is on its coaching staff.

And that former signal-caller is none other than the legendary Brett Favre, who holds NFL?records in many statistical categories, including most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards and most career victories as a starting quarterback.

Elkins resident Bert Nucilli still keeps in close contact with Barr, and when he was invited to take a trip down south to see his old friend, he decided to bring along Boatwright and his father, Roger.

When the group arrived in Mississippi, they headed to the coaches' office at Oak Grove High School.

While sitting around and talking football with Coach Barr and others, Boatwright figured he would text his girlfriend back home to let her know how everything was going.

While texting, he noticed a rather large figure standing beside him out of the corner of his eye.

Boatwright ran his eyes up the man's body and when he made it to his face, it hit him, he was sitting next to his idol, Brett Favre.

"I couldn't believe it," Boatwright said. "I just never thought in my lifetime that I would be that close to Brett Favre. I always wished I could meet him because he was my childhood idol. I mean, I had one of his jerseys when I was a kid, and I wore it so much that eventually all the numbers fell off of it."

Boatwright said when he and Favre's eyes met, the former quarterback told him that it was nice to meet him, something that was surreal to the teen.

"When he said nice to meet you, I said no Mr. Favre, it's nice to meet you," he said. "He's a very cool guy and meeting him was a special moment for me."

Boatwright said that the two talked a little football and a lot of hunting during their conversation.

"We both like to hunt, so we really talked about that a lot," he said. "He has a big deer farm down in Mississippi that we talked about. He sais he's never killed a black bear, though, so I told him to come to West Virginia and I take him out to get one."

Besides receiving a slew of autographed memoribiliia from Favre, Boatwright also got to take in a game and watch Favre in action as the offensive coordinator at Oak Grove.

"He's a really good coach," Boatwright said. "We were on the sidelines with the team during the game, so we got to see Brett work hand-and-hand with the players. It was a great experience."

All together Boatwright got to spend just two days in Missisippi. But the memories he gathered during his short trip will last a lifetime.



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